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Competence — A new approach to story

Pop culture narratives, such as movies, spend a lot of time on:

but whenever they do give us a few crumbs of

people tend to think it’s really awesome. So maybe, just maybe, it’d be pretty good if they threw out the screenwriter’s manuals and started to give us a li’l more of column B.

Column A is also good, I’m not knocking the traditional drivers of drama, but I wouldn’t mind seeing the current proportions of 95% A, 5% B reversed.

One of the most memorable and quoted moments from the biggest blockbuster movie of 2012 is a guy talking about how he successfully copes with his emotions and anger. I’m into that. We have plenty of role models on how to mess up our lives and not a lot in the way of handling things well.

I know, I know, we don’t want all icing and no cake and that’s a great thing to be aware of. But there’s an overly large fear of writing Mary Sues. Sometimes it’s just really satisfying seeing people who have their act together.

Why Hollywood movies are so boring

One of many books outlining the traditional Hollywood story curve is Blake Snyder’s “Save the Cat” from 2005. It’s supposed to teach you how to write Hollywood movies and I guess it does do that but Hollywood movies are super boring. Here are the beats with the names he uses:

I’m always super bored at the “Bad Guys Close In” or “Dark Night of the Soul” parts of movies and I always wish we could get a li’l more of the Fun and Games part. We wanna see the characters actually doing the thing and being good at what they do.

I always say I’d love to see a movie with a Canadian style script (Seven Times Lucky, The Sweet Hereafter, The Saddest Music in the World), South Korean style camera work and composition (301 302, Parasite, I’m a Cyborg and that’s OK), and French editing (Breathless), and American-style acting and directing. But you know what none of those movie styles have that I’d love to see? Characters who know what the heck they are doing!