I saw Mad Max: Fury Road over the weekend. Mad Men had its series finale. The number one movie a few weeks ago featured a character whose entire gimmick is getting mad. And tons of people are mad about how a certain episode of Game of Thrones ended.
Which is why I ask: Why is everyone so mad?
There is often a purpose behind an artist’s work, no matter what the medium might be. Paint, music, even the arrangement of words can all carry theme, meaning, and substance.
I asked myself a while back what I was after. The answer pleased me–and set a challenge.
There are times when writers experiment with ways to tell a story, but one thing remains consistent: using what isn’t said to tell the story as much as the words on the page.
George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire is an excellent example of this, using recollections and the presence of lingering artifacts to tell the story of Robert’s Rebellion and the ancient history of Westros. However, Martin has nothing on Hidetaka Miyazaki, chief director of FromSoftware’s Dark Souls.
These are the things we want most in a story. We want to find characters who we can relate to, at least enough where we want to follow them around. We want a real emotional response from the characters when things change, good or bad. We want things to happen, events that push the characters onward in their lives and lead us to explore the story further.
A capable scene will touch on at least one of these elements. A good scene will hit at least two things. To have a great scene, action, emotion, and character all need to be present.
And now, a short musical interlude from Kids on the Slope.