the secret ingredient to telling a good story

So You’ve Got An Idea

So You’ve Got A Structure

  1. What are the scenes I feel are essential? (for example: a scene where a character dies and another scene where a character gets revenge)
  2. What scenes would I need to build up to the essential scenes? (if a character dies and we want that death to be emotionally very sad, we probably want a series of scenes where we get to know the character enough that their death will be tragic, and then after that, we’ll probably want scenes dealing with our protagonist’s reaction and their desire for vengeance. depending on our format, the fallout of that vengeance as well)
  3. What scenes will I need based on the format I’ve chosen? (if a video game, we’ll need a tutorial. if a television series, each season needs a helluva first episode to get people into (or back into, for later seasons) things and set up the conflict for the season, possibly a mid-season break if our seasons are long enough, and the finale that gets people wanting to come back next season)

What’s Pacing? How Do I Organize My Story?

most of the pictures are screenshots that i took; this obviously is not, it’s the picture most commonly used to illustrate the effect
  1. “I went to the store. I walked inside the store. I walked back to the dairy section. I looked for the whole milk. I picked up a gallon of whole milk. I walked to the front. I gave the cashier my money. She gave me a receipt. I left with the milk.”
  2. “Realizing I was out of milk, I hopped in my car and drove down to the grocery store. I’m a big whole milk guy, so I immediately headed to the dairy section, found what I was looking for, headed back to the register, made small talk with the cashier, and left with the milk I’d come for.”

So You’ve Got A Scene

image from this site

It’s Time For An Ending



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GB 'Doc' Burford

GB 'Doc' Burford


I do some freelance work, game design consulting, and I’ve worked on games Hardspace: Shipbreakers and created games like Adios and Paratopic.