The master writer and the good audience

To create compelling stories, you need two things ; the master writer and the good audience. By being the master writer, you know perfectly well the story you are creating. Every bit of it, every nuance, you have decomposed it into bullet points, honed its structure… It holds because of that work.

But you also need to be the good audience. And this is very hard to do after having been the master writer for a while. You need a fresh pair of eyes to notice the moments of intense drama, humor, meaning. This is usually what used to make you laugh, reflect or feel something before you analyzed the story so much. If you can find these moments, you can give them back some of their importance. You can carve out some extra space for them to flourish in the carefully crafted structure. Allow them to take a little more space than they have been allocated by the master writer, and they will shine.

Quentin Tarantino is a storyteller mastering the two roles. Ever noticed how red the sky looks when Uma Thurman takes the plane in Kill Bill ? How every joke is really funny, no matter of the context ? How a single line of dialogue can disrupt a whole scene ? It takes bravery to dare playing with your story once the structure has been refined over and over. But think about what is remembered after you’ve told your story.

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