Narrative Efficiency …

… and a reason why you should clean out your Inbox.

I was just going through all my “starred” g-mail items, and came across one that my wife e-mailed me 2 months ago, which contained a link to Validation by Kurt Kuenne, which I still hadn’t gotten around to watching. Putting aside the message, which is a whole conversation unto itself, I just love the narrative efficiency.

Consider: In scene 1, somebody comes up to our hero, and he validates him. The scene is roughly a minute long. In scene 2, a woman comes up and he validates her – this one only takes about 15 seconds. Cut to someone running. “There’s a problem,” he says. And they go to this guy, and there’s a line out the door for people waiting for parking. We’ve just skipped months, and it only took two minutes to establish the premise, then the pattern, and then result.

The stakes continue to go up just as quickly. By the end of the third minute, he’d solved peace in the Middle East. Which left me wondering where on earth they could possibly go from here.

But of course, it moves brilliantly forward by giving him an obstacle he can’t overcome, and then the classical “ordeal,” followed by the “Dark Night of the Soul” where he pulls out of his low-point, and then the resolution. Thorough, complete, riveting, and only 15 minutes long. Fantastic!

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