The anatomy of the scenario
HOW TO BECOME A SCENARISTE OUTSTANDING
The toolbox of the writer
This is something that does not happen every day. There are a few weeks of this, I received a very nice mail Editions Michel Lafon , asking me if I had read the latest edition of ” the anatomy of story – John Truby. My answer was direct : no.
In general, the new editions are only changes in translation, changes… suffice to say that it is minimal. It’s great for anyone who has never read the book but this has little interest to others.
In addition, the old version of the book of Truby makes a nice 420 pages…the new 574…this is not ” War and peace “ but it does not read like that. In short, I didn’t want to immerse myself in it. That being said, it is not every day that a publishing house has to get in touch with me and asks me to say what I think of a book…
In addition, if I think well, this blog is for you… and not for me. By this I mean that maybe (surely) drives How to Make A Movie don’t know the work of John Truby, or his book ” the anatomy of The scenario “. Suffice to say that in a few minutes I had two good reasons to immerse myself in it. Very quickly, a third reason came to me… re-read Truby and immerse myself in the technique of the construction of a structure of a scenario. It is always good to take.
So there I was, a few days later, with the new version of ” the anatomy of the scenario “. The coverage is a bit more ” seller “ than the previous one and a sub-title made its debut ” How to become a writer extraordinaire “.
Who’s John Truby ?
John Truby is a screenwriter, a film director and a ” guru “ of the Storytelling. He teaches the art of writing a screenplay for years and has been a consultant on more than 1,000 films. It is the origin of ” Truby’s Blockbusters”, a software that helps you to write scenarios… which costs even 199$.
Truby stands out from the other “Gurus” of the scenario because, beyond the wearing of the importance to the transformation of the character, it takes into account the effects of moral or immoral their actions have on others. Contrary to what is done, it does not apply the schema in three acts, the basic structure of a scenario, but structure his stories around 22 stages, including 7 essential steps to ensure that your scenario is strong and well structured.
The anatomy of the scenario what is it ?
The anatomy of the scenario is, without a doubt, some of the books that you must read if the writing of the scenario you are interested in. Even if you know them by heart, Vogler, Campbell , or I don’t know that, you need to read Truby to broaden your horizon or to put words on the practices that you use already. Sometimes, understanding these practices is easier to use.
So, ok, you’re going to tell me : ” Say it or anything, it’s the same, what is it that changes in the manner in which to proceed, to write ? “.
In fact, Truby speaks more of a scenario of” Organic “ as a scenario, ” Mechanical “, that is to say, the scenario must be structured in a natural way, that the story finds its own path, and not in an artificial manner, that is to say that what the author wants it to be, using structural mechanisms. Yes I know, it is strange, but the reading and explanation of Truby are clear and easy to understand. For this tag the path, and gives us keys.
I’m not going to lie to you, what Truby says sometimes its sauce the other the tell also. A simple example : Truby speaks of ” Premise “ that is to say, learn to summarize in one sentence your story. It is simply the concept of your story around which you must build your story and you never move away from it. If you follow How to Make A Movie, you know, on the blog, articles exist on the subject : the logline, for example. Except that Truby calls this the : Premise.
To summarize, this sentence should understand your hero, his quest and his enemy.
The Moral struggles
Once you have this it will need to build your story around the moral choices that going to have to make your hero. And then from the revelation of moral it will be the end of your story in order to unfold the rest of the film. This moral choice final will result in the construction of the character itself and the plot of the story.
For the character, for example, you need to set : his weakness, his need and his desire
To Campbell the hero must follow the arc of a transformation. For Truby this is the same thing, except that it raises the debate and the transformation of the hero from a moral point of view. In a nutshell, is that the hero will simply get revenge or will he be at the top of it, to grow and to do what is right. By and large, serve the interests of a larger number rather than his own. This is an example eh !
In fact, to pose the problem from a moral point of view allows a greater identification and attachment to the height of the part of the viewer. It is therefore necessary that you provide the blemishes, the weaknesses to be your hero for the combat and the exceeds at the end of the story. In addition, from a dramatic viewpoint, the weaknesses and the faults are important because they cause the hero and other characters of the pain and trials. It is, therefore, of the dramatic tension important.
It is simply the place where the story takes. For Vogler, for example, this is the new world. The difference with Vogler is that for Truby this arena must include a whole bunch of symbols that serves as a basis for the discussion of moral. These symbols must be built as a network. They must be structured to allow the hero to follow the course and evolution of the character through the hardships he goes through. As you can understand the teachings of Truby is very on the felt, the moral and the actions that the characters do.
The steps of Truby
Truby say that the 3 acts are not enough to write a scenario, or that this concept is a bit outdated, this is not the first to have thought of. Campbell, with his hero in a thousand and one faces, had discovered it well before him. Vogler , who has taken over the work of Campbell, has surpassed it, it has built a system with 12 steps.
For Truby, it will be 7 steps keys and 15 additional steps. Like all methods, it is sometimes complicated to follow all the steps, especially for the short. Are you saying that these 7 steps are essential to create your story and allow your characters to be addictive.
The 7 steps
Set (the) weakness(s) of your hero and his or her need
I told you about earlier, your heroes must evolve. You have two kinds of weakness :
- the weaknesses of psychological (causing harm to the hero)
- The weaknesses of moral (that are causing harm to others)
All these weaknesses prevent the hero from being realized, to move forward. It’s going to need that he gets rid of it. For this there has to be a need for transformation. This transformation cannot be done thatby fulfilling his mission, his quest.
Set the desire
It is simply the trigger. This time when the life of the hero topples over. You can also understand the desire for goal. It is when the trigger happens that the objective will be revealed.
Define the enemy
Instead of the enemy I would have had to write opponent, it is a word that is more just. It’s also going to need you to set up weaknesses for the opponent. If it is against the heroes is that he has his reasons. Often the hero and the enemy have the same goal or theobjective totally the opposite.
For example, in “Mary at all costs” the hero and the opponent want to seduce Mary.
Plan for the hero to arrive at the end of the adventure (final confrontation)
The hero must have a plan and in this step he has to put in place, or the place.
the battle between the hero and his enemy
The title of this step is clear, it is necessary that the two characters meet and clash
final revelation and awareness
This is an important moment because the hero understands, at that moment, something, a truth. Often this truth is on the hero himself. As I say often, and Truby is one of those also, it is necessary for the hero to act. That is to say, that this truth must lead to an action/reaction rather than of long speeches.
A new balance
Your hero is finally transformed. Thanks to the moral choice and the trials he has overcome, your hero is a new man (or woman).
As you can see if you read Vogler and Campbell, there are also some similar steps, but once again it is the approach of Truby that is the interest of the anatomy of the scenario. I told you at the beginning, Truby makes sure you understand how to do in order for your scenario to become organic , and this is the key and the whole point of the book. Well, of course, the other steps lead you to write not in your scenario.
Why a new edition ?
This new version is enriched of the questions and responses of the French students who participated in his Masterclass. I want to say that it is rather a good idea, because there is necessarily, in the course of the reading, questions that come up. Often, not all of the time, these questions are answered thanks to these additions. Because the questions and especially the answers are in the concrete problems that we encounter in scripture.
In short, I find that it is a big plus for all those who always want to go further.
So much for the article on the anatomy of the scenario, a new edition of John Truby.
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