John Sokol heeft Randy Olson gelezen en schrijft,
McKee’s Triangle sheds light on how different types of narrative play into the perception and engagement of the audience. The three main story plots are: anti-plot, mini-plot, arch-plot.
The anti-plot storyline is less important for our needs; it is essentially non-narrative structure. Examples are classic comedies like Wayne’s World and Monty Python. The mini-plot focuses on developing character stories rather than the plot itself. Non-linear timeline. No causality. Events happening for no particular reason. Passive protagonists: character is unsure if he/she is the hero or villian, contemplates taking action. A great example of a show with mini-plot is HBO’s Westworld.
The arch-plot has all the story elements of a classical narrative.
- Linear timeline
- Causality: events happen for logical reasons
- Single Protagonist
- Active Protagonist
- Closed Ending: definitive conclusion to the story
The Wizard of Oz is a prime example of arch-plot.
The masses are subconsciously drawn towards arch-plot storylines. The more arch-plot tenets violated, the less people are interested in a story. Therefore, it’s imperative to keep these archplot attributes in mind when developing a narrative.
Olson says it best with an elaboration of what it means to lean towards mini-plot:
- As soon as you’re telling a story of science and you start jumping around in time, you’re losing people.
- As soon as you’re telling a story of science in which things happen for no clear reason, you’re losing people.
- As soon as you’re telling the story of several scientists or projects (multiple protagonists) instead of just one scientist or project, you’re losing people.
- As soon as you’re telling a science of story with internal conflict (should we even do this experiment?) rather than external conflict (actually doing the experiment), you’re losing people.
- As soon as you’re telling a story of science with no ending, you’re losing people. (Ringing any bells here climate change people?)
Extra Storytelling Tips
The power of storytelling rests in specifics, as the human mind tends to default towards generalities. Narrative benefits the storyteller because it activates the brain and unifies the thinking of the audience. Strive for short, succient titles. The two worst possible ways communication can go wrong are boring and/or confusing interpretations. ‘Truths can not walk on their own legs’ – Karlyn Campbell. Truths must be explained, defended, and spread through language, argument, and appeal. Sending the narrative off is a great thing, but only once, and utilize a singular narrative, as more than one is confusing. When creating narrative content, capture the “inner monologue”, as nobody wants to listen to a person with no emotions.