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    #21
    Senior Member rsbush's Avatar
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    Educate yourself, with whatever means works for you. And don't get hung up on the rules. In the end, every artist has to find their own way.
    Last edited by rsbush; 09-24-2018 at 07:24 AM. Reason: Removal of snark.


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    #22
    Senior Member Batutta's Avatar
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    My problem is calling things like story structure "RULES" in the first place. Of course if you call them rules, certain people are going to rebel against them, artists most of all. Artists are always on the search for something new, for that thing nobody has seen before, and telling them they need to follow rules or their art won't be any good goes against that. Structure to me is more an outline, a blueprint, a rough preliminary sketch that delineates the shape of your story. You wouldn't tell an architect drawing a blueprint that he's just following rules. A house needs certain basic things to function as a house, and generally those things are laid out in a limited number of ways. But a blueprint is still a design for an empty house. It needs to be filled with stuff. Just as there are house designs that always work for people, there are story structures that always tend to work, and by work I mean they produce something that functions on a basic level. For a house, that means it is a liveable space. For a story, it means people will read or watch it from beginning to end wanting to know what happens next. The problem with the way most books teach structure is that they take things too far and then it does become a set of codified rules to follow. Structure should be treated more like guidelines than actual rules. Maybe even structure is too inflammatory of a word to use. Shape is probably better. Kurt Vonnegut has an amusing take on the shapes of stories I always found useful--

    "Money doesn't make films...You just do it and take the initiative." - Werner Herzog


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    #23
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    Iím too tired tonight to get into this too deep and Vonnegut wrapped things up quite neatly. I will point out that Welles made a short film before Kane.
    Mitch Gross
    Cinema Product Manager
    Panasonic System Solutions Company


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    #24
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    "Everything you need to know about filmmaking can be learned in two to three days." --- Orson Welles


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    #25
    Rockin the Boat
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    The Vonnegut talk was very entertaining, but what message was he trying to convey? It's certainly not that these are the only shapes possible, or that these are the shapes that are preferable, or that writers should conform to these - he was describing shapes that have been very popular and that writers often use. That's it. But it's easy for some people to take the wrong lesson from such observations, as apparently many educators or culture commentators have. A story of ANY shape, including the most popular shapes, can be uninvolving or boring to the audience - having a "popular" shape won't save you. Your story, regardless of the shape, must be involving. The operative factor, the determinative factor, is not the particular shape, but whether it is involving. Rules, shapes, structures, theory - none of that matters, because there is only one prime directive - involve your audience. You can draw any shape you want on that blackboard, and there is a story somewhere that conforms to an unusual shape and is successful, because it is involving. Certain shapes or structures may be more popular - but so what? It says nothing about whether you should choose ahead of time what structure you will use. I say, just make it interesting. I believe that picking a shape first and then coming up with content is putting the cart before the horse. After you have done your work, someone (or yourself) may come along and say "you've used such and such a shape", but that's of academic interest only - the work will live or die by how interesting it is. Therefore, don't worry about shapes and theories, worry about "is it interesting".


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    #26
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    I think Vonnegut’s point is that the basic structure of any story is pretty simple and straightforward. He didn’t pick Cinderella on a whim either; just about every culture we can track has its own version of the tale, including some that had zero connection to western cultures and had to have created it on their own.
    Mitch Gross
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    Panasonic System Solutions Company


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