Povestea ideală are personaj, acţiune, semnificaţie

Jon Franklin, un magician autoritar al construcţiei poveştilor pe structura complicaţie – desfăşurarea acţiunii – rezolvare, vorbeşte în acest interviu despre cum găsim O SINGURĂ POVESTE în ideea noastră (şi cum ea împleteşte personaj cu acţiune şi cu semnificaţie). Da, cele mai bune articole sunt despre UN SINGUR LUCRU.

Q. What should one look for [when reporting]?
A. We as humans live stories. What you do — and this talks a lot easier than it lives, of course — is look for the stories that the character is living, and pick one. Being able to see stories in life, that’s part of the reporting. A lot of reporters find this very difficult because they confuse meaning with opinion, but they are not the same thing at all. Meanings are the facts that come out of the story.

Q. A reporter should look for the meaning of a story?
A. The story has a lot of aspects. It has character, meaning, plot. As a reporter, when you find any one of these you can connect the dots and find all the others. Often one bit of trouble the reporter will get into is that we’re all living multiple stories at once. So they try to report the hottest parts of four stories, but you can’t do that. You have to pick one. If you don’t it’ll be a bloody mess. You see a lot of that problem. People try to do the top of three or four stories.

Q. Can you explain that?
A. Take me. I’m a reporter, a human being, a father. I take care of repairing my home. I’m a driver. These are all different aspects of my life. If you were to interview me and decided you wanted to take a little bit from everything, you probably are going to end up with a jumble. Say you were telling a story about a very impatient person. You can tell that through how he drives, of course, but you have to focus on one story, one aspect of a character’s life. I’m not saying you can’t cross those lines, but you can only tell one story.

Q. In your book, [Writing for Story] you focus a lot on the action in things. Why is that?
A. One of the most curious things about modern journalism is that you have to ask that question at all. Journalism has become so based on quotes. But in life, you don’t just count what people say. When you watch someone, their words aren’t nearly as important as their actions.

It’s almost a cliche: action is more important than words. So when we say that we want to tell a story about how people live, we mean that we want to tell a story about how people act and react. I hardly ever use quotes. I use dialogue, but that’s different. The reader is no dummy. When the reporter stands there with his notebook and asks the subject a question and then quotes him, that quote is the answer to the reporter.

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