empathy + stakes

Readers must empathize with a protagonist because nobody cares about what's happening unless they care about who it's happening to. But what is empathy and how do writers create it? That's exactly what Valerie explores in this season of the podcast.

Writers are asked 'what's at stake' or told to 'raise the stakes'. So, what are stakes and why do they matter? This season, Melanie will deep dive into this widely spoken about, but little understood, topic.

There is so much storytelling goodness to be learned from The Godfather, it kinda boggles the mind. Even if you’re writing a light-hearted romcom, believe it or not, your novel/screenplay will benefit from the way Coppola and Puzzo approached the craft. The stakes start out high and get even higher. And when it comes to empathy, the role that world-building plays is a thing of beauty. Of course, one of us totally empathizes with Michael and the other of us doesn’t at all. Guess which one is which.

This may not be the worst movie ever made, but it’s certainly among them. The filmmakers have completely ignored storytelling basics and boy, does it ever show. It’s based on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, so you’d think it would be brilliant, right? Wrong. Without the fundamentals in place this is nothing more than a bunch of stereotypes and cliches strung together, and it’s painful to watch. What did they do wrong and how can you avoid making the same mistakes in your story? Tune in to find out.

On this brand new season of the podcast Valerie and Melanie are diving deeply into EMPATHY and STAKES. How did the makers of The King’s Speech get us common folk to empathize with a king? How did they get an American audience to empathize with a British king when they fought a war to win their independence from the monarchy? Well, it was no easy task, but the trick to it lies in choosing the right type of protagonist (there are four types of protagonists). Tune into this episode to find out more.

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