Story Nerd Episodes

September 14, 2022

It’s hard to know quite where this film went off the rails, but certainly, one of the main problems is that there isn’t any real conflict or tension. Just as tension begins to form, it fizzles, and so too does the viewer’s interest. Why did this happen and how can you avoid it in your

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September 7, 2022

If you’ve ever been told to “show, don’t tell” then you’ll want to listen to this episode because the truth is that exposition (i.e., “tell”) is an effective storytelling tool. This film is a brilliant example of forces of antagonism, the hero’s gift expressed, and just about every other storytelling principle you can think of

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August 24, 2022

This might be one of Agatha Christie’s best known mysteries, but does it work for a modern audience? This week, Valerie and Melanie analyze Sir Kenneth Branagh’s version of Christie’s classic tale, and discuss just how far into a story the inciting incident can be. And don’t miss Melanie’s super sleuth skills in action as

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August 10, 2022

In the first 10 pages of your story, you need to give the ending away. Sounds crazy, right? But, it’s true. Why on earth would we do that? It would ruin the story, wouldn’t it? Nope. When done right, it makes the story better. How would we do it? Listen to this episode to find

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August 3, 2022

Did you know that if the alter ego doesn’t have a gift to express, the superhero doesn’t have a superpower? In this episode Valerie and Melanie discuss the importance of Carol Danvers’s gift, and how expressing it ultimately enables her to both outsmart and overpower the forces of antagonism.

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July 20, 2022

You can’t go wrong with a performance story; it’s a crowd-pleaser every time. With this genre, the opponent is usually the sole antagonist. But this film has a whole host of antagonists working together to complicate the plot and make life for the heroine very, very difficult. How did the writers weave together multiple forces

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July 13, 2022

We’re kicking off a new season with a focus on two new storytelling principles! In Season 2, Valerie is studying The Hero’s Gift Expressed and Melanie is studying Forces of Antagonism. Legally Blonde is a beautiful example of both!

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June 29, 2022

Dune is a true feast for the eyes, and it’s got the Oscars to prove it. However, none of the awards (or nominations) were for the writing and there’s an obvious reason for that. Join Valerie and Melanie as they do a deep dive into the storytelling aspect of this popular film.

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June 15, 2022

Oh dear. The scales have fallen from Melanie’s eyes this week as she analyzed one of her favourite films. The “spectacle” of film sure does make the movie-going experience a whole lot of fun, but when we strip away the soundtrack, the CGI, the costumes and the actors we admire, we’re left with the story.

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