Reviews and comment from the Demon Crew - creative writers at De Montfort University, Leicester.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

John Yorke: 'Story Physics'

 If you are an aspiring screenwriter, then when a veteran of 20-years television experience, comes to De Montfort University as part of its Cultural Exchanges Festival, you sit-up and take notes.

 But, to be quite frank, even if you are not - like myself - striving to pen the next Hollywood blockbuster, this lecture by John Yorke on 'story physics' would still have offered you a fascinating insight into what makes up a good story.

 In an engaging and often humorous talk, Yorke - using audience participation and some well-prepared clips - broke down the components of a good story, and we, as an audience, were pleasantly surprised to find that it really was very simple.

 Yorke argues that when you get right down to the nuts and bolts of a story, you are left with one overriding theme - conflict.

 Whether it is the protagonist's conflict with other characters or indeed conflict inside themselves, good drama and good characters are born out of the journey that is taken to resolve these conflicts.

 It is no coincidence, Yorke says, that some of history's more intriguing characters, such as JFK or Malcolm X, were outspoken and often at times, at war with themselves.

 So, next time you pick up your pen and avail yourself to write a hero... create yourself a troubled soul, full of contradictions with an abundance of enemies.

S.R Chambers

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