Bill Johnson

Bill Johnson Script Consulting

Free Educational Speaker in Los Angeles & Orange County

  • Creating Narrative Tension

    TOPIC CATEGORY: Educational

    The concept of narrative tension goes to the heart of what a storyteller creates to draw in and maintain a hold on the attention of an audience. When a story's audience is drawn in to feel tension over the course and outcome of a story, that audience will feel a need to experience the relief offered by a story’s resolution and fulfillment. MORE >

    To heighten a story’s narrative tension, a well-designed plot creates growing obstacles to how a situation that revolves around an issue of human need will be resolved. Hence the emotional investment -- and ultimately, the relief -- of the audience grows. Conversely, if the characters in a story don’t feel a tension that drives their actions to overcome obstacles to resolve what's at stake in a story-- to find true love in a romantic story, for example -- why should the audience feel a sense of tension over the story’s outcome?

    A script that lacks narrative tension risks becoming a sterile accounting of events.

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  • Creating a Dramatic Truth That Resonates With Audiences

    TOPIC CATEGORY: Educational

    The underlying dynamic of a story is that it creates a quality of movement that transports an audience toward the fulfillment of a story’s promise; that because a story’s promise arises from an issue of human need being resolved and fulfilled, a story’s audience is led to feel invested in a story’s outcome. Characters in a story ring true because they have a role to play in fulfilling a story’s promise. MORE >

    When a story character embodies a dramatic truth, that character feels compelled to resolve a particular issue of human need. So a character who embodies a dramatic truth suggests to a story’s audience a sense of purpose. A character who fails to embody a dramatic truth risks coming across as a collection of details.
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