Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Story Structure

I'm studying story structure (via the book "Save the Cat" by Blake Snyder)
and trying to see how it is used. It's funny how it's starting to pop up everywhere! Like I was watching Disney's Tarzan and recognizing the elements I was learning about. Here they are--as I see them:

•Opening Image(s): The ship is sinking off the shore and a young family is saved in a life boat. The gorilla family's baby is killed by a leopard. Tarzan's parents are also killed by a leopard.

•Theme: Is supplied by the song playing in the background, Phil Collins singing "Two Worlds, One Family"

•Set up: Tarzan is not accepted by Kerchak but wants to be

• Catalyst: Kills a leopard and presents it to Kerchak, still not accepted

•Debate: Tarzan is upset that he's not like the other gorillas

•Break into Act 2:  The sound of gunshots lure Tarzan to discover people, he enters the human world

•B Story: He meets Jane, rescues her, begins to learn about the human world and speech from her, finds he is accepted

•Fun & Games:  Slide show and dancing with Jane, Tarzan's friends mess up the human's campsite

•Midpoint: Jane is leaving, Tarzan wants her to meet his family

•Bad Guys Close In: Kerchak discovers Tarzan led humans to gorilla family putting them all at risk; Tarzan decides to go to human world with Jane

•All is Lost: Jane and Tarzan are captured and Gorillas are caged by Clayton, Kerchak fights to save family and is killed

•Dark Night of the Soul: Tarzan realizes that he failed his family, humans are going to take them away

•Break into Act 3: Tarzan escapes the ship, fights for his family

•Finale': Tarzan battles Clayton, overcomes him through the talents he has developed by living with Gorillas, Clayton's own violence ends out killing himself

•Final Image: Jane stays with Tarzan, Tarzan leads his family in Kerchak's place; two worlds--one family is perpetuated with humans and gorillas in the same family

The story structure lessons from Save the Cat are giving me some handles to grab onto as Deanna and I rewrite a story that we've just felt "something was missing". So far we have found many things that are missing and we are working to plug those holes.

1 comment:

Christy Monson said...

I do love Save the Cat. We use it in our critique group. Elana's presentation on it at LDS Storymakers was great. It's like a Bible if you want to be successful.