Friday, February 5, 2010

BOOK CLUB: Sly Hints (Ch. 30)

[Today we're reading Ch. 30 If Your Were a Musical, Where Would the Numbers Be?, from Aristotle's Poetics for Screenwriters, by Michael Tierno (2002).]

The author of this book writes that the “[Greek] chorus developed the magnitude of the story, making it seem more frightening, more intense & more real.”

What does that mean to us today? Imagine a chorus of a hundred men eerily chanting the hero’s doom. I feel goosebumps.

Today, we don’t use choruses, but you can this idea to great effect.

How? Use your minor characters as your chorus to drop clues & eerily predict stuff the hero is going to face.

Ex. In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy introduced us to three awkward farmhands, & the mean neighbor. We had no idea that they’d play big roles in her journey as the Cowardly Lion, Tin Man, Scarecrow, & Wicked Witch.

WHAT I’VE LEARNED: I always like it when the minor characters know more than the protagonist & then slyly hint at what he/she knows. This conflict is more interesting to watch & gets in more information in than the protagonist just divulging it.

[DISCLAIMER: I have not been asked, nor paid, to read or comment on this book.]

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