backstory, DO THE RIGHT THING, exposition, flashback, IRON MAN, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK -

“Backstory” is the term for any narrative that occurs in the past within the world of the script, chronologically occurring before the action of the A-story. In cinematic writing, backstory typically takes one of two forms: exposition, and flashback. With exposition, we’re telling the backstory; characters talk about what happened, or perhaps we’re “telling” via stuff like on-screen crawls, photos/images, etc. In flashback, we’re showing backstory; we’re cutting back in time to play out a scene. Backstory is like any other form of exposition: It should be treated like a necessary evil. We give the audience only so much as...

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BREAKING BAD, Goal, Motivation, Protagonist, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, Sympathy, Three Pillars -

There are three pillars to keep in mind when crafting story in such a way that the audience can engage. These are: Goal, Motivation, Sympathy. Goal is simply an understanding of what the protagonist is trying to do. This should be the engine of the A-story; our story is about the protagonist pursuing the goal. If we don’t even know what the character is doing, then instead of story it’s just incident; stuff happening. There is no plot or momentum. If the audience can’t perceive or understand what the protagonist is trying to do, it’s easy for them to get...

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