5 Wounded Healers to Use in Your Stories

by John Bucher (@johnkbucher) Psychologist Carl Jung popularized a term he assigned to fellow analysts with a desire to heal others because they themselves were wounded in some way. He called these individuals wounded healers. This archetype has appeared time and again throughout storytelling. The Greek myth of Chiron tells of a centaur who spent a... Continue Reading →

4 Powerful Orphans to Focus Your Story On

by John Bucher (@johnkbucher) Certain archetypal characters seem to appear again and again throughout storytelling history. Many early narratives told tales of youngsters without one or both parents. From Moses to Little Orphan Annie, orphans have served as heroines and heroes in countless stories, even when the plot does not specifically revolve around their abandonment. There’s... Continue Reading →

7 Elements of a Viable Story Idea

The following is an excerpt from Erik Bork's new book, The Idea: The Seven Elements of a Viable Idea for Screen, Stage or Fiction. by Erik Bork (@flyingwrestler) I have come to believe that 60 percent or more of what makes a film or TV project potentially successful (or not) is the core idea that could... Continue Reading →

3 Principles of Story Setups and Payoffs

Minor spoilers ahead for Cray Rich Asians, Coco, and Operation Finale. by John Bucher (@johnkbucher) One of the most vital yet least discussed aspects of effective storytelling is the ability to execute potent setups and payoffs. While it may seem like common sense, the demonstration of this skill is often the factor that separates amateur scripts... Continue Reading →

3 Ways to Utilize Power Dynamics in Your Story

by John Bucher (@johnkbucher) The way that a protagonist moves through the world should be filled with challenges and tests of the ego. There is perhaps no better way to accomplish this than by thoughtfully creating differences in power between your character and the others she interacts with. Because there are so many types of power... Continue Reading →

6 Story Lessons from Spike Lee

by John Bucher (@johnkbucher) Film auteurs have come along less frequently since their heyday in the 1970s. However, a few storytellers have managed to remain relevant, all while writing and directing their own material, throughout the decades. Spike Lee first addressed racism and the struggles of black culture in his third feature film, Do the Right Thing.... Continue Reading →

Four Seasons of Life to Draw Story From

by John Bucher (@johnkbucher) Some seasons in our life are more exciting than others. Many days come and go without a single notable event. The times that do stand out may be full of joy, great sadness, anxiety-inducing drama, or simple gratitude. When telling stories, we generally want to include a day or term of the... Continue Reading →

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