December 27, 2014

"Suffering, Struggle, and Overcoming"

Julian Friedmann is a film, TV and literary agent and co-owner of the Blake Friedmann Literary Agency.  He's in the business of rejection.  In this thought-provoking talk, he reveals some storytelling secrets that captures and audience's attention.

How we tell stories seems to be a mysterious process that millions around the world want to be able to do, but 99.9% effectively fail. Why is it so hard for storyteller and audience to be one? What we communicate can change the lives of the writer and the audience. However, why stories matter and how to tell them better may not be as mysterious as it seems. Julian Friedmann has worked with writers for over 40 years; he believes understanding that storytelling is more about the audience than the writer will result in better storytelling.

Friedman puts it succinctly,  "(Beethoven’s) preference for ‘happy endings’ is not by any means a tendency towards kitsch, but rather a musical style akin to Schiller’s philosophy of suffering, struggle and overcoming.’
Beginning, pity, suffering
Middle, fear, struggle
End, catharsis, overcoming
You can see the pattern. This works because it is about the audience’s experiences, not the characters’ or – god forbid – the writer’s."