Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Simple Story

It seems that a simple story suits a short story because a short story is short. Not so. We can find a simple story in a novel and a movie as well. In truth, a simple story can be not only interesting, but gripping, and powerful. And it is usually quiet. Being quiet doesn't mean it has no power; on the contrary, it has its own unique quiet power. What I mean is that a simple story draws the attention of the reader/audience from beginning to end without relying on those sensational thrills, which, I believe, you know what I'm talking about. And surprisingly it works equally well in a movie.

Off the top of my head, the movie with a simple story I can think of is a Chinese movie The King of Masks. Even Wes enjoyed it, and we watched it twice. Months apart. The second time I watched it, I was drawn to it, just like the first time. A simple story that is not simple. Here lies the paradox. Anyway, we don't have to resort to all the sensational thrills to thrill the reader/ audience but write a simple story that illustrates a human truth; its quiet power would move the reader/audience much more profoundly than those "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

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