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ENG116 Storytelling

Mr Lim Luck Yong, llim@digipen.edu

Course Objectives
Tell me
why you signed up for this course, and
what do you want to learn from it
have you taken another course in storytelling

Course Objectives
Course on story - communicate your experiences
and values
Gives techniques for crafting the story - story, plot,
character and themes
Foundation for you to do further research, and
apply to the genre and media you will be working
on
IF there is a mismatch, please speak to school
admin now

Pedagogical Method
This is an English course - read and write a lot
This is a tertiary-level course
pay attention, make your own notes (not
everything I say will be in the slides)
learn by contributing in class, and helping each
other
seek to apply ASAP
fast pace

Pedagogical Method
Every week - 2H Lectures, 2H Tutorials
a facet in storytelling per week, and each tutorial
helps you build up the skills
if you skip a lesson, you will find it hard to catch
up
Each tutorial will add up to your final score building blocks of the main assignment - your
story
Also, there will be tests and a final exam paper

Course/Classroom
Rules
Tell me what you like/dont like in a lecturer/
course.

Course/Classroom
Rules
Mutual respect. If you cant respect yourself nor
the audience, you cant tell a good story.

Course Rules
What I dont want from students:
Me chasing you for assignments
Plagiarism
Not clarifying with me your doubts
Not following instructions on assignments, tests
etc
Talking or doing other lecturers homework
during my class
Not putting in the effort for readings and
reflection

Tips to do well
Read a lot of novels and do research
Watch a lot of movies and animation
Do your readings and tutorials
Participate in class, clarify your doubts during
class time
Stay awake

lots of info

slow me down when you need


me to repeat

BREAK (15 mins)

Overview of Course

ENG 116 Syllabus

Books

Reference Materials

Books

Other Reference Materials

The destiny of the world is determined less


by the battles that are lost and won than by
the stories it loves and believes in.

Harold Goddard
The Meaning of Shakespeare

No values to die for

Problem with todays stories

Worse: More clones


and bad sequels

Problem with todays stories

Your Problem

Why should the world choose


your movie?

Process of Storytelling - Stereotype

Inspired

Watched a movie,
really liked it!

Reformatted

Copied the style,


costumes, props,
visual effects etc

Regurgitated

B-grade, forgettable

Rejected

Everyone wasted time


and money to make
and then watch the
movie

Process of Storytelling - Archetype

Life experienced

Audience are fellow humans, can identify


with your experience (emotions, tension,
conflict) and thus STORY

Abstracted

You pick and select the parts of your story,


and adapt them for the chosen media. It is
not a verbatim record. PREMISE

Structured

You reorganise the abstracted information


into a plot structure to engage your
audience. PLOT

Expanded

You do research and add in details, to create a


believable universe with its own rules, filled with
CHARACTERS and SETTINGS (props, effects,
themes etc).

Delivered

You pace the story, add in the words,


direction, film technique and tell it in the
way that is best for the materials at hand,
to create your style through TECHNIQUES

No

Date

Concept

Assignments

Note

07-Sep-09

Problem of Story - A Tale of Two


Tensions: Plot vs Story

14-Sep-09

Structure I - The 3-Act Structure of


the Action

21-Sep-09

Movie Review

Assignment 1: (Group, 10%). The class into 4 groups for 4


movies. Write a common report

No Class (Hari
Raya)

28-Sep-09

Structure II - Inciting Incident and Assignment 2: (Individual, 10%), Deadline: A1


Act Design

05-Oct-09

Values of Stories in Societies

12-Oct-09

Structure III - The Character's story Assignment 3: (Individual, 10%), Deadline:A2, A3

19-Oct-09

Structure IV - Scenes, Plots and


Subplots

26-Oct-09

Structure V - Climax and Resolution Mid-term scores released.

02-Nov-09

Characters I - Protagonist, Premise Assignment 4: Write the opening scene (Individual 5%)
and Theme

10

09-Nov-09

Characters II - The Co-protagonists Assignment 5: (individual 15%) Sequence Approach and


and Antagonists
Character Dynamics

11

16-Nov-09

Characters III - I Hear Voices

12

23-Nov-09

Stories and Words

13

30-Nov-09

Research Week

Assignment 6: (Individual 10%) Apply Scene Design to


No Class
improve your story, show the difference (before and after).
Show also the research you've done and how you applied to
the whole story design

14

07-Dec-09

Research Week

No Class

15

14-Dec-09

Exam

Test 1 (Individual 20%)

Exam (20%), Deadline: A4, 5, 6

Story vs Plot!
Plot IS NOT Story
Plot is the ACTION, Story is the
EMOTION
Plot is about the EVENT, Story
is about the CHARACTER
Ultimately, we are
communicating emotional
experiences

Process of Storytelling - Archetype

Life experienced

Audience are fellow humans, can identify


with your experience (emotions, tension,
conflict) and thus STORY

Abstracted

You pick and select the parts of your story,


and adapt them for the chosen media. It is
not a verbatim record. PREMISE

Structured

You reorganise the abstracted information


into a plot structure to engage your
audience. PLOT

Expanded

You do research and add in details, to create a


believable universe with its own rules, filled with
CHARACTERS and SETTINGS (props, effects,
themes etc).

Delivered

You pace the story, add in the words,


direction, film technique and tell it in the
way that is best for the materials at hand,
to create your style through TECHNIQUES

Tension

Life experiences

What is Tension?

Obstacle
Goal

Goals vs Obstacles = Tension

At The Heart of Tension:

Meaningful Choices

Conflict A

Conflict B

Choice A
(and its consequence)

Choice B

Internal
Tension/
Conflict
Life experiences

Choice D

Conflict D

Choice C

Conflict C

At the Heart of Stories


Internal Tension/Conflict (waiting to be triggered)
Choice is to be made to resolve internal tension/conflict
Experience Consequence of choice
If consequence is not desirable, conflict exists as a fight to remove
consequence
If consequence is desirable, conflict exists as a fight to maintain
consequence
Else, external conflicts become meaningless.

BREAK (30 mins)

Premise - What to write about


See Chapter 16 in Lamb

Finding the Premise

Welcome to your dark side

Doing
Wrong

Tension

Life experiences

Doing
Right

Tutorial
Discuss Lamb, Chapter 2. Split into 2 groups for Seminar discussions.
Recall an intensive emotional experience you have faced so far, that required
you to make a decision. Write it down.
During that experience, write down what you wanted to achieve or get
away from, and
What/who was standing in your way, preventing you from achieving your
goal or running away from the undesirable event
What are the deepest dark desires that threaten to overwhelm you when
you are unable to achieve your goal?
Share. Discuss what are the potential Premises that we can derive from this
as inspiration for a movie.

Readings For Next Week


Read Aristotles Poetics (http://www.leeds.ac.uk/classics/resources/poetics/
poettran.htm) Sections 1 to 7 (or Chapters 1 to 14)
Read Lamb, Chapters 4 and 9.