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What is the Scriptmonk Method?

The SCRIPTMONK! method is a unique approach to the analysis and execution of the cinematic narrative, developed through years of study by script consultant and dramatic theorist Michael Welles Schock. Serving as the basis for his book Screenwriting Down to the Atoms, the SCRIPTMONK! method is built upon three core concepts:

1. Stories do not exist for their own sake. Between storytellers and their audiences exists an intimate bond known as the storyteller-audience relationship. Though invisible, this relationship is not to be taken lightly. A story finds success only when and if the storyteller reconizes the audience's needs; whether they be emotional, intellectual, or psychological; and fulfills them through dramatic means. Once understood, the storyteller can craft a narrative to generate the most audience-satisfying experience possible.

2. Storytelling is an art as old as humanity itself. And since its beginnings, the most successful narratives have derived their power from an elegantly-simple five-component structure known as the Story Spine. The Story Spine is storytelling's “Golden Key.” It is the cause for success or failure in every story ever told, from “The Three Little Pigs” to “Gone With the Wind.” Its five components; the Story Problem, the Story Goal, the Path of Action, the Main Story Conflict, and the Stakes; give a story focus and direction by revolving around what characters want, why they want it, and what they are willing to do to get it. As the structure all other structures are built upon, the Story Spine unites all of a story's elements into a cohesive whole and provides the drive that allows a narrative to unfold towards a dramatically-satisfying end.

3. "Story-telling" is a two-part term. It is not enough to simply have a good story. Equally important is how that story is told. The cinematic story is transmitted to an audience through a constant string of individual pieces of information – whether this information be given via visuals, action, dialogue, or sound. It is by the constant accumulation of these “story atoms ” that an audience comprehends the narrative. The true skill of storytelling comes from the ability to creatively control story atoms in a way that will appeal to the audience's interest and emotion. Knowing what to give and when to give turns a simple narrative into an exciting and engaging experience.

To learn more, check out Screenwriting Down to the Atoms, or read one of the many articles found in scribber.

the book
Unified Theory of Narrative book?
scribbler blog