Story with emotional punch


Often movie scripts get rejected due to lack of the necessary "emotional punch." A story without strong emotions, is not a story brought to life. Movie makers look for those emotional connections that can be formed with the audiences that make them remember the movie long after they have watched it.

The narrator needs to have a grasp of how to create strong emotions in their stories. One can develop such awareness by watching and analyzing movies or reading and interpreting stories that evoke such emotions. Make a list of such ques in your notebook whenever you watch movies or read stories, for use in your own stories.

One such trigger for emotions is with internal narrative - which is manifested by your character's thoughts. What your character is thinking defines him/her as a person and makes them either sympathetic or unsympathetic. Everything your character thinks in your story will effect your audience's perception of him/her. So, it is important to choose your character's thoughts carefully and still be cohesive with how he/she will act or react in your story.

Your character's thoughts are going to show his/her growth throughout the story as well. Your character is going to learn something or come to terms with something or solve an attitude problem, thus taking on the transformation journey through the end of your story. So, give your character strong motive to react, and then show how they react without slowing down the story or making it stall. If the pace of story is lost due to such emotional disconnects, you can quickly and even permanently loose your audience's investment into the story. Such disconnects can be avoided by incorporating coherent thoughts, internal narratives, deep point-of-views, or reaction.

Every character in your story needs to react to what's going on around him/her. They need to think interesting things that characterize or move the story you are narrating forward. A story is a series of well crafted stimuli and reactions that are sequenced based on the character's intentions and obstacles. Every reaction is based on past experiences of the character. As a narrator, you never should miss an opportunity to show the character's reaction. And never have something happen without motivation.

Create the character's thoughts and actions to match their speech, intellect, upbringing, personality, ethnicity, and regional phrases. A man wounded from the war will think and act like a veteran of the war. A child abused will think and react to situations like a child who has been abused. The character's thoughts should never sound like that of the narrator of the story. And creating and developing those unique voices for your characters will take a lot of forethought, planning and practice.

For the audience to emotionally connect with your story, it is critical to include vivid word-pictures in your script that helps your audiences/readers form pictures in their minds that help them connect with the story. Word-pictures evoke emotions incorporating depth, color and fire, with which the audience/reader can easily identify. Don't be afraid to go deep into your character's head and pull up emotions and thoughts that are difficult to experience. You cannot grab your audiences attention by remaining superficial. You should feel right along with your character. To keep it interesting, go beyond your gut reaction. Look past the initial reaction and emotion that comes up in your mind.

Not every story has to be angst ridden and not every character in your story needs horrible backstories, but every story does need to resonate with your audience.

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