A couple of great articles from Go Into the Story (The Official Screenwriting Blog of The Black List) popped up on my Twitter feed this morning and were so good I felt compelled to share them here. These articles and the blog as a whole focus on screenwriting, but I think the advice pertains to story regardless of in what format it's being told.
The Theology of Cinema: Forgiveness.
First of all, when you headline your story with a picture of Lieutenant Dan I'm in. Because it's an instantly recognizable example of a great moment in cinema when Lieutenant Dan thanks Forrest for saving his life back in Vietnam, and perfectly demonstrates the point author Scott Myers is making here.
Even the greenest screenwriter knows that a film is about the hero's journey. Forrest may be the main character, but he isn't the only one who will go through a tumultuous journey. Jenny's is one, Lieutenant Dan's is another. He goes from being confidently secure in his place in the world and in his life's meaning, to having that sense of security and control ripped from him, to hitting rock bottom, and finally constructive acceptance of his situation, which leads him to personal and spiritual peace and happiness. And audiences respond to that.
Lindsay Doran (known as The Script Whisperer) on The Psychology of Storytelling.
This article is from 2014, but it popped up on my Twitter feed today. Doran gave a talk with a lot of valuable information on what audiences want to see in films/stories and why. It has a lot to do with the character's relationships and resilience. A perfect example given is the first Rocky movie - a lot of people (me included) don't remember that Rocky actually loses the fight against Apollo Creed. It's the fact that he was an underdog who rose to the challenge and gave Creed his toughest fight ever, plus the evolution of Rocky's relationship with Adrian and its culmination after the fight that audiences responded to and remember.
These are both great articles. Do check them out when you have the chance.