Story by Robert McKee is a great book geared towards Hollywood screenwriting, but the principles of good storytelling can be applied anywhere. The lessons in this book have helped the Blueforest Studios team transform our techniques, and we want to help you perform the same magic.
What’s At Stake?
Abracadabra! Those are the three magic words. ‘What’s at stake?’ Congratulations, we have levitated your story, from mediocre to brilliant.
An inexperienced writer will feel the need to tell you the viewer in great detail about their character. They will describe in great detail the color of their hair and the car they drive. But, there is no suspense, there is no interest, and there is really nothing for the audience to connect with. The audience isn’t going to root for the character throughout the movie because of the color of their hair or how much cream they put in their coffee. Try not to exhaust the audience.
How Do We Overcome this Dilemma?
As storytellers, we have to ask ourselves ‘What’s at stake?’ Why are the two characters arguing, what happened, how will they resolve this issue? What do they have to lose and why do we care? These are all great questions to answer as storytellers because this is what the viewer needs to learn. That’s why they’re watching in the first place. Displaying a conflict and overcoming the conflict is what will lead to an intriguing story.
When You Do Not Answer These Questions
The act of not answering the question ‘What’s at stake?’ leaves the viewer with this empty unsatisfied feeling. The viewer is not being told the whole story and needs more information. The most common examples of videos that do not answer this question are actually most TV commercials and bad marketing. They talk a lot about their product and services but lack to mention you the audience and ‘What’s at stake?’ for them. How is your product going to help the viewer? How is the companies’ product going to be the hero to help the customer solve their problem? If you lack the answer to this question in your marketing you will end up with a pretty boring piece of content.
How to Up Your Brand Storytelling?
So there you have it, the three magic words that can transform your writing instantly. The only thing standing between you and great storytelling is the answer to one question ‘What’s at stake’?
Next up we will delve a little deeper into marketing by discussing the importance of remembering.