“Storytelling involves more than lining up the action pieces, arranging them in a logical order and then drawing conclusions. Yes, dramatic action pulls moviegoers to the edge of their seats. And yes, conflict, tension, suspense and curiosity hook moviegoers. Yet, no matter how exciting the action, the character’s emotional reactions and emotional development provide fascination. Any presentation with a strong human element increases the chances of audience identification.”
Character Emotion Makes the Plot
Want an example of emotional change? The clip below from An Officer and a Gentleman (based on the Oscar-nominated screenplay by Douglas Day Stewart) comes to mind. If you’ve never seen the film it’s a little odd out of context, but it’s a popular enough scene for me to find in about ten seconds on You Tube, even though the film is almost 30 years old.
A fitting Veterans Day clip as well. Cheers to all those American men and women who have endured boot camps and wars—and a special remembrance to those that didn’t come home from battle.
P.S. Roger Ebert in a 1982 movie review wrote, “An Officer and a Gentleman is the best movie about love that I’ve seen in a long time. Maybe that’s because it’s not about ‘love’ as a Hollywood concept, but about love as growth.” He also wrote, “Lou Gossett, Jr. does such a fine job of fine-tuning the line between his professional standards and his personal emotions that the performance deserves its Academy Award.” The Academy agreed.
*Martha is also the author of The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master