written by Mark McLaughlin | October 22nd, 2012
One of the best ways to structure your video communication is to ‘Tell it like a Story”. Our human brains are built to receive and enjoy stories, likely from tens of thousands of years sitting around a fire in groups, listening to oral narratives for entertainment and learning. Kind of like Social Media with fire as the technology!
Whether for a 300 page novel or a 3 minute video, there are many theories of effective story writing. One I like a lot is called the 8 Point Arc from author Nigel Watts.
The 8 Points are:
1) Stasis – Description of the ‘same old, same old’, setting the scene for the soon to arrive Change.
2) Trigger – Something extraordinary happens, from the external environment, or irresistably from within the protagonist (main character).
3) The Quest – Nigel writes that the Trigger results in a quest, something the main character, lets call them the ‘Lead’ Must do. Could be internal work, or more often involves entering into a developing external situation replete with challenges.
4) Surprise – Surprises involve change ups and set backs and unexpected grace notes that move your story forward in a state of flux. We are unsure where we’re going or what’s coming next.
5) Critical Choice – This is where your lead’s possibly newly acquired/re-acquired Core Values are displayed and tested in the cauldron of great adversity. They must consciously declare their stance, despite the potential of serious harm or loss.
6) Climax – They confirm their ‘mettle’ in the teeth of the hurricane. The climax is the highest peak of tension in the story.
7) Reversal – The positive reversal of fortune arrives to affect the status of your lead. It is logically the attendant result of the climax. The problem has been resolved favourably, or humourously, or whimsically, and your lead gains their reward.
8) Resolution – With the setting of a new Stasis point, a new equilibrium, the story is resolved; until of course, next time!
Have you any thoughts or ideas around story structure? Love to hear them in the comments section below! Tune in 2 weeks from now for the next installment in Pump Up the Video!
(Nigel’s 2006 book on Amazon)