Kurt Vonnegut famously diagrammed the “shapes” of the what he recognized because the mere handful of plots that underlie all tales. But the plot of a story — boy-meets-girl, man-gets-out-of-hole, no matter — will not be what holds your consideration. What retains you going is the narrative, the tense, fascinating moments come at you one-by-one. So, how do you form narrative in a video story?
A-B-T = And-But-Therefore
Randy Olson makes an excellent case for the three-point formula he calls “A-B-T (And-But-Therefore). Olson, a marine biologist, developed his concepts to assist scientists clarify their analysis to a broader viewers. Olson maintains that each story might be boiled down to this A-B-T construction. The story begins with a scenario — “it’s this that, and the opposite.” Then there’s rigidity — “however there’s an issue.” “Therefore, the answer should be ____,” and that’s our story.”
The key to the entire thing is the strain that drives the narrative, which is signaled by the phrase however. The scientifically inclined Olson posits a narrative index — the variety of occasions however happens within the story, divided by the occurrences of and. The larger the however/and ratio, the extra rigidity, the stronger the narrative.
Olson has calculated the narrative index of quite a few texts, together with in political debates going again Lincoln-Douglas. Among the shocking findings: Donald Trump has used the phrase “but” greater than any politician in historical past in debates — “narrative index” of his “story” may be very excessive, although, as a storyteller, he’s no Reagan. “Reagan . . . knew how to present stories with all their warmth, humor and emotion. His stories were always about problems. Trump doesn’t give much of a crap about the warmth, humor or emotion. He’s mostly just about problem-solution, over and over again, all day long.” Seems to work.
Implications for a expertise answer video story
Technology answer movies usually strive to tell viewers why the answer would possibly matter to them. The typical video begins by describing a couple of typical issues firstly, then goes on to current options that handle these issues. Olson’s A-B-T methodology means that the video could possibly be made extra participating by iterating over problem-solution loops, as a substitute. “X is inexpensive and it can be effective, but it risks Y, therefore our solution does Z.” It’s a easy, however endlessly versatile, formula. We plan to give it a strive.
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