The shape of a story…

Someone in my online writing group posted a youtube video the other day. It was John Yorke talking about scriptwriting and story physics. Of course, as soon as I saw the words ‘story’ and ‘physics’ together my interest was piqued. What he went on to explain was in some ways a revelation and, in other ways, not so surprising.

Hadn’t I always known that storytelling had a certain dynamic, a build up, a journey and a resolution? Yes. A beginning, a middle and an end. That’s what makes a story different from a list or a report. It’s an echo of our everyday conversations, sharpened at the dramatic edges and laid out as a template.

But John Yorke’s explanation about the micro and the macro of the story, the chapter/act and the scene reminded me of when I first discovered fractals in nature. They made perfect sense, they’d been there all the time, but I’d only just opened my eyes enough to see them.