What makes a good short Story?
- Interesting characters
- Filmic quality
- The deeper meaning
What should you reflect on?
- Who are the main characters? – Protagonist/Antagonist?
- What are their main relationships?
- What do they want?
- Where is the conflict/problem?
- How does the conflict erupt?
- What drives the action of the story forward?
For the writer, ideas remain abstract until written
- What is it about?
- What’s the genre?
- Who is the protagonist? [how is he/she/it involved in this story now? what do they want and why?]
- What is the driving action of your story?
- Who or what opposes the protagonist – antagonist/conflict
“A hero who wants something takes action meets with conflict that leads to a climax and a resolution” Cowgill want – why – need [characters drive the story]
- It provides the important information the audience needs to get the story moving.
- The short film should accomplish all this right up front
- Focus only on what is essential
- Main point: establish the conflict
- Dialogue or action
- Written presentation
- Visual dramatisation
- In short – it needs to come early and fast
Rising action – Developing the conflict
- What the protagonist does to achieve his goal, the conflict he meets and how this action affects him along the way
- Escalation of tension
- Conflict rises in waves
- Action & reaction
- The plan A Problem ->> Leads to ->> Hero formulates a plan of action and starts implementing it
- Obstacles it is the clearest form of conflict man, society, nature or the character himself
- Antagonist [opposes the protagonist, opposite goal and needs]
- physical obstructions
- inner obstacles [intellectual, emotional or psychological problems the protagonist must overcome]
- mystic forces [bad luck, moral choices etc.]
- crisis [point of conflict in the action]
- complications [they cause a change in the action]
- Mid-Point Something happens that has consequences. These consequences will drive the action towards the main climax Main crisis Conflict should intensify and increase before the climax Climax & resolution The conflict must finally be resolved Plot is a series of interrelated actions that progresses through a struggle of opposing forces to a climax and resolution that defines the meaning of the work Opening the Short
- Point of decision (life changing events)
- Change in environment
- Intro of the protagonist Middle section strategies • Surprise • Reversal [spins the story in the opposite direction]
- Dreadful alternative
- Pseudo-solution Revelation
- Striking disclosure of something not previously known or realised.
- More powerful if linked with another element like reversal or crisis.
- Must have a direct relationship to the main exposition of the film.
Example of short stories that show these steps: