The Story Spine – from Better Small Talk Audiobook by Patrick King – Audiobook Spotlight

This method is perfect for novelists and film makers, but you can also use it whenever you want to entertain friends with a tale that will have them riveted.

Likewise, it can tell you why certain stories completely fall flat, since it shows you what crucial elements may be missing.

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This technique can be credited to Kevin Adams, author and the artistic director of Synergy Theater.

He teaches how the “story spine” can be used to outline a great story.

00:36 The story spine has eight elements; here’s how they go:

03:36 What’s important to remember about a story spine is that it’s just that—a spine.

You still need to add considerable flesh to the outline to make it compelling.

The story spine merely makes sure you’re hitting the right notes in the right order, and gives you a satisfying structure to follow.

Not every story will follow it exactly (it’s only a rough outline, after all) but if yours do, there’s a good chance they’ll be better received than narratives that are a bit more experimental.

As an example, consider the popular theme song for the ’80s TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Consider someone using the story spine in a more everyday context: a dispute at work.

Consider the box office hit Avatar, and how it follows the story spine:

The story spine applies to any kind of story or narrative, written, spoken or cinematic, big or small.

The fundamentals, once in place, can be reworked in literally endless ways.

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Categories: Voice over Work