Storytelling basics

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Storytelling basics

  1. 1. Storytelling foundations By Brett Oppegaard Washington State University – Vancouver Creative Media and Digital Culture 354.02 Digital Storytelling (Fall 2010)
  2. 2. What are the 6 elements of drama? As defined by Aristotle in “Poetics” • Plot – What happens in the play, “arrangement of the incidents,” with beginning, middle and end • Characters – Who carries out those actions, also symbolic, and interwoven with the plot • Thought – What those actions mean symbolically, the theme(s) • Diction – How those characters express themselves, from language to dialogue to delivery • Song – More than just music, the rhythm and melody of speech as well • Spectacle – Visual support ... scenery, costumes, special effects
  3. 3. What are the 7 plots? As defined by British literary critic Christopher Booker • Tragedy – Flawed hero meets tragic end, MacBeth • Comedy – Happy ending, romanticism, A Midsummer Night's Dream • “Overcoming a monster” – Toppling all-powerful evil, Frankenstein • “Voyage and return” – Leaving home, returning changed. Alice in Wonderland • “The Quest” – Mission/mission accomplished, or not, Lord of the Rings • “Rags to Riches” – The Horatio Alger myth • “Rebirth” – Central character is transformed, A Christmas Carol
  4. 4. Hemingway's 6-word story “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Complication. Resolution. All people have basic needs, such as food, water, shelter, love, companionship, etc., which leads to complications and endlessly interesting resolutions
  5. 5. What are the 45 master characters? As defined by American screenwriter Victoria Lynn Schmidt Female heroes / villains • Aphrodite – Seductive muse / Femme fatale • Artemis – Amazon / Gorgon • Athena – Father's daughter / Backstabber • Demeter – Nurturer / Overcontrolling mother • Hera – Matriarch / Scorned woman • Hestia – Mystic / Betrayer • Isis – Messiah / Destroyer • Persephone – Maiden / Troubled teen
  6. 6. What are the 45 master characters? As defined by American screenwriter Victoria Lynn Schmidt Male heroes / villains • Apollo – Businessman / Traitor • Ares – Protector / Gladiator • Hades – Recluse / Warlock • Hermes – Fool / Derelict • Dionysus – Woman's man / Seducer • Osiris – Messiah / Punisher • Poseidon – Artist / Abuser • Zeus – King / Dictator
  7. 7. What are the 45 master characters? As defined by American screenwriter Victoria Lynn Schmidt Supporting cast • Friends – Magi, mentor, best friend, lover • Rivals – Joker, jester, nemesis, investigator, pessimist, psychic • Symbols – Shadow, lost soul, double
  8. 8. Foundations • Protagonist • Antagonist • Setting • Complication • Passage of time / chronology • Denouement • Wolfe's four devices: Point of view / scene by scene construction / dialogue / status life

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