Category Archives: The Master Storyteller

Designing Your Plot – Multi Appreciation Moments

The great masters of plot create dramatic moments that multi-task. For example, a novice writer might reveal the story’s goal in a line of dialog, but a master storyteller might reveal it in such a way as to also add insight into the speaker’s personal issues, the nature of his or her relationship to another character, and also to illustrate an aspect of the story’s thematic message.

Stories in which each moment means only one thing are usually not particularly involving as they do not reflect the complexities of real life. Further, with single appreciation moments, there is only one way to appreciate a story. But the great masters of storytelling include so manty multi appreciation moments that each time a book is re-read or a movie seen again for the umpteenth time, the focus of the audience attention during the unfolding of the story is never along the exact same path twice.

Each trip through the story opens new insights, provides new experiences, and reveals new surprises as new interpretations and understandings are exposed every time through the journey.

So, to keep your story, be it novel, screenplay, stage play, or even song ballad from being a one-time experience and coming off as a point-by-numbers approach to structure, consider employing multi-appreciation moments in your storytelling to enrich the experience and create an atmosphere worthy of a master storyteller.

Melanie Anne Phillips
Co-creator, Dramatica

The Master Storyteller: Create a Story “Focus”

If your story’s underlying or central problem is seen as a disease, the solution would be the cure. The “Focus”, however, is the principal symptom.

Since the symptoms of a disease are often more apparent than the disease itself, the symptom is called the Focus, because that’s where the attention of the characters is focused.

Even if the characters are aware of the true nature of the problem itself (which they may or may not be), they will be more attentive to the immediate effects created by the Focus.

You can enrich your story and make your characters much more human by having the them focus on various symptoms of the underlying story problem rather than on the problem itself.

Click here for our complete List of Essential Story Points