Nov 16

Story: ask a question, answer a question

AskAQuestion

A very quick thought today that is relevant to many (all?) forms of storytelling but especially to preschool media where you have to achieve clarity for a young audience. It is this: much of story is simply asking a question and then answering it.

An example and familiar question: can your character overcome a challenge? The answer might be yes or it might be no but you need to answer that question if that is the question posed at the start of the story.

Seems obvious, right? And yet when I’m reading scripts, often a lack of a satisfying conclusion can be traced back to not actually asking the question asked. You might have a big finish, a resolution but somewhere along the line the story went in a different direction and you didn’t answer the question asked. You might have answered a different one.

Ask a question. Answer a question.

Can a boxer prove he’s not a bum? Yes. Can a farm boy really take on the Empire? Sure. Can a crew survive an alien brought on board? Mostly no except for Ripley and Jones. Asked and answered.

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