best practices

Love that Big Ol’ But

Check out this interview with Dr. Howard Suber, of the UCLA Producers Program. One part that stood out to me was his answer to the question, “What do all great stories have in common?” Dr Suber responds:

The word “but.” Which is to say inexperienced or poor storytellers structure their material with the words “and” or “then.” So “They did this, and then they did that, and then they did this, and then they did that,” which produces an episodic structure that doesn’t build on anything, and there’s no relationship between what came before and what came after.

Stories need pivot points that take you off course and make you want to get back on again. If everything works out in a straight line, it’s boring. Stories need a little darkness, a little twist.

This interview was part of Barking Up The Wrong Tree, one of my favorite weekly blogs. Check it out. You will love it!

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