Creating Narrative Tension
Instructor Bill Johnson, September 4-29, 2017 – $49
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When a story’s audience is drawn in to feel tension over the course and outcome of a story, that audience will feel a need to experience the relief offered by a story’s resolution and fulfillment. To create this tension, something of interest to a story’s audience has to be set in motion. For example, a storyteller might set in motion an issue revolving around redemption. Because a story’s audience already has feelings and thoughts about redemption and its value, through how a story resolves and fulfills its events, the members of the audience can experience a relief from their own unresolved feelings about redemption, or have their feelings about it validated.
This process of generating narrative tension needs to weave through every aspect of a story to sustain the interest of an audience. A story that lacks narrative tension is un-engaging to its audience.
Bill Johnson is a produced playwright, optioned screenwriter, and has read manuscript submissions for a literary agent. He is the author of A Story is a Promise and The Spirit of Storytelling, a workbook that explores how to create dramatic, engaging stories; and web master of Essays on the Craft of Dramatic Writing, a site that explores principles of storytelling through reviews of popular movies, books and plays (www.storyispromise.com);
Bill has lead workshops on writing around the United States, including the Southern California Writing Conference, Write on the Sound Conference, and the Expo Screenwriting Conference in Los Angeles.