Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Destiny vs Secret Desire

When it comes to human nature, Destiny almost always loses to Secret Desire. As we see in La La Land, even though two people appear destined to be together, nothing is stronger at getting it's own way than that urge living deep within us, our Inner Need, sometimes buried so deep that we don't even know it's there until it's forced from hiding. At this point, it is called the Secret Desire.

Mia, played by Emma Stone, and Sebastian, played by Ryan Gosling, seem to be the perfect romantic couple. There are lots of sparks in their relationship, but often the typical romance taps into the Inner Need of the characters and fulfills whatever is missing in their lives. Not so much in real life, and La La Land depicts this, much to the consternation of it's audience (aka, me.) Did I want to see these two together? Absolutely! I write romance. I've gotten several couples together successfully. But this movie, as fantastical as it is, (dancing, singing. . .floating,) was written to portray real life. Well, some real life. Obviously some of us have had successful romance stories. I'm going on 42 years with the love of my life.

The following Tree Plotter gives us some insight as to the Inner Needs of these two characters. My take: When writing a story with real life emotions, tap into the Secret Desire and make the character's dream stronger than whatever Destiny might have planned for them.



Click on images to enlarge.

It may be cynical, but the lesson our two characters learn is, "Here's to the fools who dream." 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017



The following is a breakdown of Hidden Figures following the character of Katherine.

CHARACTER: Katherine
THEME: Equality
SECRET DESIRE: To be accepted in the world in which she lives.
INCITING INCIDENT: NASA assigns her to the Space Task Group.
TENT POLE MOMENT: Tells everyone about the bathroom and the indignities of being colored.
DEATH IN THE MIDDLE: After her eruption, her boss, Al Harrison, finally gets it and ends the segregation in his department, declaring, "Here at NASA, we all pee the same color." Thus, it's the death of segregation.
CONNECTING TENT POLE WITH THEME: The theme is equality. With the tearing down of the Colored Only bathroom sign, NASA declares that all people are equal.
BLEAKEST MOMENT: Now that Friendship 7 is about to launch, Katherine's job is no longer needed. But a problem arises and she ultimately saves the mission, but when she hands the book with the correct figures needed to launch to her advocate, Al Harrison, he quickly takes it, then shuts the door to the control room in her face. Once again she's considered too inferior to participate at the same level as her peers.
CONNECTING BLEAKEST MOMENT WITH INCITING INCIDENT: She had been promoted to the Space Task Group, but now it has ended with no more acceptance than she'd had at the beginning.
LESSON: She has recognized value in the space program
CONNECTING THE LESSON WITH THE SECRET DESIRE: She desires equality, and in the end, she learns that standing up for herself and being the best she can be has earned the respect of her peers.