Thursday, December 26, 2013

How to tell a good story...

I've often wondered how you really tell a good story. Well, last night I got a very good example of how to do so.

I'm a huge fan of the New Who. I've seen some of Classic Who (love Love LOVE Four), but I'll always be one of the New Who Whovians. Last night was the final Christmas special with Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor. And, boy, was that a story!

One thing I've found is that I love to yell at Steven Moffat for ripping my heart out and dancing it to pieces on Doctor Who and Sherlock. But last night, I got to thinking. Whether or not he writes the scripts, he's in control of the story (of course, last night he wrote the script--more about that later). And he makes those stories compelling.

And when I say compelling, I mean can't-look-away-hate-him-for-it-but-you-come-back-for-more compelling. But I can't say it's all Steven Moffat. It's also because of Mark Gattis, fellow show runner and co-creator of Sherlock. I'm preparing my feels (fan-girl speak for emotions) for the return of that show in a couple weeks here in the States. The thing is, the stories they tell are so deep, so intriguing that they make fans break down in tears, analyze, and relive a thousand moments of every episode.

Last night's Christmas special was exactly like that. From the very start of the episode, I went through a kaleidoscope of emotions. Melancholy, jealousy, happiness, fear, dread, anger, depression, hope, sadness, joy, sadness, fury, surprise... all of these and every facet of emotion in between. By the end of the episode and the revelation of the newest Doctor, I was an emotional wreck. I was snot crying like a baby and laughing like a lunatic. There is no better definition of emotionally compromised than the way I was last night after watching that episode.

That's what a good story does. It takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotion. It pulls you in, drags you down and lifts you back up again. It rips you apart with fear, fills you with dread, and patches you together again with hope. A good story makes you feel everything the characters feel. It carries you along for the ride, and  makes you feel as if you're right there.

And I did. I felt like I was on Trenzalore in a town called Christmas with the Doctor to protect me. I felt like Clara drifting through space and clinging to the TARDIS, begging the Doctor to never send me away ever again. And in a way, I felt like the Doctor, waking up to a whole new me, a whole new life.

Wondering... how do I fly this thing? How do I tell this new story?

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Edited by - Stephanie King