Secrets of Story by Matt Bird

Writing & Communication

“Never let up. In stories, things go from bad to worse, even if nobody wants them to. If she wants to apologize, interrupt her. Whenever anyone is about to release tension, interrupt her. Is the couple on the date about to kiss? Pull them apart. You might think the audience will love you if you give them what they want. Not true. Make them want it, then yank it away.” – Matt Bird

An invaluable resource and reference guide on the concept (the Pitch: Does this concept excite everyone who hears about it?, Story Fundamentals: Will this concept generate a strong story?, The Hook: Will this be marketable and generate word of mouth?), character (Believe: Do we recognize the hero as a human being? Care: Do we feel for the hero? Invest: Can we trust the hero to tackle this challenge?, dialogue (Empathetic: Is the dialogue true to human nature? Specific: Is the dialogue specific to this world and each personality? Heightened: Is the dialogue more pointed and dynamic than real talk? Strategic: Are certain dialogue scenes withheld until necessary? ), scene work (Does this scene begin with the essential elements it needs? The Conflict: Is this a compelling collision of competing agendas?  The Outcome: Does this scene change the story going forward?), tone, theme, and more.

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