Why do I use Syd Field’s storytelling paradigm? Several reasons:
Modern storytelling is done through visual means.
Television, film, and the Internet have become primary entertainment venues. Audiences gravitate toward these mediums and are accustomed to this form of storytelling. Syd Field’s framework is perfect for the modern day audience, even when applied to prose.
It’s where the action is.
Action/adventure stories must move quickly. Engage readers from the first letter, keep them turning pages, throw in a few twists and turns, and then wrap everything up before the reader catches his or her breath. I write a lot of adventure stories, so keeping up the pace is critical. Mr. Field’s framework fits my style.
Outlines and blueprints don’t go far enough.
An outline, or a blueprint (as a recent article in Writer’s Digest) isn’t enough for me. There aren’t enough boundaries. Syd Field’s paradigm requires storytellers to think strategically so that the reader (or viewer) doesn’t get bored.
Yes, Mr. Field’s framework is prescriptive, very much so, but to me it gives appropriate guidelines that allow me to stretch and mold the story into something more exciting for the reader. The paradigm actually facilitates my creativity. It makes the writing tighter and forces the writer to think ahead.
I would highly recommend Syd’s approach, even if it is primarily for screenwriters. But what is his exact approach? That’s another blog post…