Blog Post

Attaching Storytelling to Both Sides of the Argument

Jul 28th, 2018

My first step in building a new television series was Using Story Structure to Argue Your Point of View. My second was covered in Starting to Build an Argument.

After a couple of days away to allow my subconscious to work through some ideas, I'm ready to dive into the next step: Attaching Storytelling to Both Sides of the Argument.

The series sparked from a great idea. A really cool idea and narrative conceit. But the substance of the story itself was left lacking. There wasn't enough there to craft an actual argument.

I used Subtext to help build a quick and dirty outline for a pitch—which went great—but now, for the second pass, I want to ensure that people will leave the experience of this story with something meaningful.

Otherwise, why waste their time? (And mine).

What's Wrong with this World?

Taking a cue from this week's analysis of Westworld Season 2, Episode 8 ("Kiksuya"), I began to ask myself, What is wrong with this world? In other words, what specific storytelling can I attach to the "negative" side?

Having taken a position in the previous step, and listed out a bunch of general examples for both sides, I now need to turn concepts into reality.

No one wants an essay—they want an excellent series.

Those conceptual examples of what is wrong with negative side—the side I'm arguing against? Those form the foundation for actual scenes. They turn what was a neat idea into something cool and meaningful.

Listing out what is wrong with this world was a simple matter of using each instance of negativity as a controlling idea for a scene. The purpose of each scene is to illustrate why that particular approach is terrible (from my point-of-view).

Jumping to the other side was surprisingly more difficult; apparently, it's easier for me to argue what is wrong with something, rather than what is right with something.

I found relief following the same approach. Stepping through each instance of positivity and crafting a scene that illustrated that useful approach in action.

And now I've got the basis for some fifteen-odd scenes that should account for most, if not all, of the Objective Story Throughline.