If you want to have a shot at being a successful storyteller, you need to have a better grasp of how people actually tick than most other people.
Storytellers who don’t get human beings right are soon employed doing other things — storytelling being out of their range.
As any reader or audience member can tell you: The instant a character behaves out-of-character? The game’s over and the reader or audience member has already turned on you, hating you for wasting their time.
So storyteller HAVE TO get people right or they won’t be storytellers for long.
If you bore in on the PEOPLE in THIS story — who they really are, why they really do the awful things they do — it’s not hard at all to figure out what’s going on here.
Vladimir Putin isn’t a mystery. He’s a professional spy — a SPY MASTER in fact, a conservative with a religious streak in him a mile wide. What he WANTS isn’t a mystery either: He wants to restore Greater Russia to a place of ‘prominence’ and power. Putin also wants more money (cos, apparently, he’s not nearly rich enough).
And Putin wants Russia to be a player.
Donald Trump isn’t a normal president, he’s an abomination. He’s a liar. He’s a TRAITOR and a thief.
Donald Trump’s family aren’t normal either. They’re all corrupt.
Mitch McConnell & Paul Ryan aren’t patriots, they’re POISON.
As any storyteller will ‘tell you’ — real human beings almost never do whatever they do ‘just because’ or ‘for no reason’. They may lie about why — even to themselves — but there is almost always a very real ‘WHY’ — and if you can bore down to that, you will understand virtually EVERYTHING there is TO understand about that character.
The natural progression from understanding how a character REALLY works is to see how they ACT & REACT while being part of a story. Are they the protagonist or the antagonist? Is the story theirs or someone else’s? Or is this a story that will ‘become’ theirs as it gets told?
The process of telling a story is the process of revealing who a person or a group of people really are. The whole point of telling a story is to follow a character arc that describes in incredible detail who a person really is — and why they really do what they do.
If the storyteller flubs any of those details, they’ll hear about it. Audiences’s are just as attuned to how people really are as the storytellers; they want storytellers to remind them how people are, to reveal them in interesting new ways that play with storytelling conventions. They want to see the world as they understand it — albeit with a few twists that expand their understanding of people and the world.
That’s what too many of our Journalists — storytellers all — continue to get terribly wrong. They refuse to see all the characters in this piece for who they really are — falling into the trap of trying to describe non-normal characters in ‘normal’ terms instead. The audience is starting to get antsy though…
We know the MSM storytellers are missing it right now. They keep insisting on story elements and character details that just don’t ring true. Because they don’t describe people (and characters) as we KNOW them.
The story of Donald Trump, the Republican Party & Election 2016 is only just beginning to get told correctly — with the perspective it demands.
Massive, Big stories are more complex, have more diverse characters with more diverse reasons for doing what they do. It’s why hewing to storytelling basics are essential. WHO are we talking about? WHAT do they really want to accomplish within the context of both the larger story & the smaller one? And, most importantly — WHY?
The Truth is, we already know WHY Donald Trump has done what he’s done. He’s a narcissist and a fool. He’s an egomaniac and a phony. He’s a danger to everything we hold dear.
He’s the second worst thing to ever happen to America. How he came to hold the reins of power in his tiny, orange hands — THAT’S the REAL story of our time…