Designing Your Plot with Multi Appreciation Moments

By Melanie Anne Phillips

The great masters of plot create dramatic moments that multi-task. For example, a novice writer might reveal the story’s goal in a line of dialog, but a master storyteller might reveal it in such a way as to also add insight into the speaker’s personal issues, the nature of his or her relationship to another character, and also to illustrate an aspect of the story’s thematic message.

Stories in which each moment means only one thing are usually not particularly involving as they do not reflect the complexities of real life. Further, with single appreciation moments, there is only one way to appreciate a story. But the great masters of storytelling include so many multi appreciation moments that each time a book is re-read or a movie seen again for the umpteenth time, the focus of the audience attention during the unfolding of the story is never along the exact same path twice.

Each trip through the story opens new insights, provides new experiences, and reveals new surprises as new interpretations and understandings are exposed every time through the journey.

So, to keep your story, be it novel, screenplay, stage play, or even song ballad from being a one-time experience and coming off as a point-by-numbers approach to structure, consider employing multi-appreciation moments in your storytelling to enrich the experience and create an atmosphere worthy of a master storyteller.

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