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Film Courage: Storymaker? What is this?
Cecilia Najar: Storymaker was borne out of a land of blocked writers and it’s a 90 minute process that gives you prompts basically to develop a character-driven story based on anything. It can take pickles, airplanes, hotels, etc. Because we live in stories, we watch stories, we’re so immersed in storytelling, it’s in our DNA. If you can stop thinking and just allow your reaction to go forward, you will develop a story. I’m not saying it will be a great story, but it will have a beginning, middle and end. It will have characters that change and dilemmas that will be interesting, an a genre that could attract an audience. These simple prompts, when you start allowing your first reactions to come forward, you’ll start to feel how powerful your internal storytelling clock is and have much more confidence in it. That is the reason why I came up with this process because the other thing is, as writers we practice dialogue, we practice scenes, right? We practice all these things, but no one practices the art of telling an entire story. So if I can get you to tell an entire story in 90 minutes with a beginning, middle and end, good or bad (we don’t know), you could do that once a week, which means you could have 52 stories at the end of the year. And how many good stories do you think you’d have if you had 52 stories every year? Probably more than you have now. And you would also be building an incredible muscle of developing ideas, of being able to solve story problems, of knowing how characters change, of knowing your genres, about knowing your ups-and-downs of the rhythm of the story, and it would just become part of you and you wouldn’t even have to think about it. So that’s my goal for writers, to really learn this as a dance (like you would learn the tango) and learn to dance this story without even thinking.
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