In storytelling workshop, the first assignment was summarizing your all time favorite story doesn’t matter in what medium it exists and why do you think its amazing?
When I was working on assignment, it was really hard to pick just one story, I mean we all have so many beautiful stories as our favorites.
One of the major reasons I want to be part of Animation Industry because I want to tell meaningful stories through incredible worlds and memorable characters.
I came up with more questions when I was thinking about the assignment.
I like to believe that stories and the way they make us feel is somehow extension of how we see the life or how we want to see the life even if its imaginary.
It’s all about the experience, we want to feel certain way or stories make us feel certain way. The stories we want to tell or we want to experience stories has one common thread that makes all the difference and that is Emotions.
I like to believe in our life, we somehow remember the moments that were filled with incredible emotion/s, it could be good or bad emotions.
We don’t retain the exact experience it fades away with time but its the emotions at those particular moments still remain vivid.
Somehow our subconscious remembers how someone or something made us feel* at certain point of our life.
Sometimes it’s just a little sentence that strikes like a lightening on our heart bringing storm of emotions or questions or sometimes its uncanny resemblance between situation in our life and life of a fictional character.
I also realized that the some books that I loved most, can not be explained in an essay and not because the book is special or not because the book has great conflict or not because of the book has a larger than life characters .
It was nothing like that, some of those stories are about simple characters with simple life, it’s like some things you cant explain by telling how great they are because they only can be experienced.
For example, If you watch Finding Nemo when you are single and when you watch the same movie after you have your first child the experience is completely different than it was before.
I think that’s one of the thing epic stories have common. Every time you experience them, they feel different and you feel like you understand them more.
Also it is obvious, we all have stories or films that when we look back and feel embarrassed about saying something like ” I cant believe it used to be one of my favorite stories, I feel so bad for myself..”
So what happens?
I think some might say we grow up in terms of our taste as a reader or audience, the more great stuff we experience the more it raises the bar for ourselves .
On some level its correct, at one point we have watched, read, experienced so much stuff that we immediately realize that we are greedy for more quality stuff.
And everyone grows a different taste for themselves
But for some people it’s not a big deal, for some people escaping from daily life is enough and they are very casual about their taste, they are not too picky-critical about director or story or characters.
Now what is this taste, it’s kind of like unconscious criteria, certain set of rules that we create for stories, if you are too nerdy like me and some of my friends, you write a list of things in a notebook.
Here’s also another interesting thing I found, some stories we have experienced(watched/read/heard) really long time ago but they are still our favorite stories, despite of their flaws! (Our improved taste didn’t affect those stories)
And I had really hard time getting around this question, why we love some stories?
It would be stupid to think breaking down a story in terms of list/criteria would help telling great story because lets face it ; its not exact science. (Although It helps a lot to have list)
I came to a point where I also realized, there’s a huge difference between stories that we love and stories that are memorable.
No I’m not talking about horror or scary stories but stories that make an emotional impact so strong that they stay with you.
So I had to ask myself What is the difference between a Good story and a Great story?
I thought instead of a list, this time may be I should write how they make me feel in terms of an experience or how do I feel about them
What’s a good story?
For me*, I would say good stories have a heart and they have something to say , they involve you in the story, you feel comforted, they emotionally create little ripples, sometimes make you feel better and sometimes give you a totally different experience, they are engaging and unpredictable and sometimes they surprise us with something really special by exceeding our expectations completely.
And in this experience we forget the time and real life for a while.
What’s a great story?
For me*, great stories make us question ourselves. They challenge us. They seem simple in design and complex at heart, kind of like our minds.
They often seem darker , great stories have tragedies in them but they are brave enough to admit it. If we look closely somehow we find our reflections or footprints in the story or characters. Great stories not only make us forget the time but even when we come out of it’s world, somehow we feel we are still living in it.
They have a strange way to make an emotional impact, their character arcs sometimes end up changing us.
They show us the world, people, emotions in completely different perspective, most importantly great stories even if their end is good or bad or worst, they somehow have passion for life.
The great stories are way ahead of their times in terms of complexity of emotion,innate experience, storytelling, concepts and caring for the characters.
Great stories often have complex and flawed characters, incomplete end or unanswered questions, that’s why we keep going back to them.
Every time we go back ,we feel it’s a different experience, we discover something new and every time they emotionally involve us like they did the first time.
And every great story has moments that are filled with incredible emotion, they are so powerful and so vivid that they get imprinted on our subconscious mind forever and we remember those moments for the rest of our life.
Even if we forgot the experience, the details but we still remember those moments as if it actually happened in our life.
So that’s how I feel about Great stories, now I would love to hear from you. What’s the difference between Good Stories and Great Stories for you?