KISS it Up!

3:10 to Yuma Promo Photos (via SolaceinCinema.com)

AS IN: Keep it Simple, Silly.

Everyone wants to write their sweeping 40-volume epic story with an ensemble cast of characters rivaling the likes of One Piece or Naruto. But that drive to clutter story with too many characters and too many cool elements is often a mistake of beginning writers. The true challenge is to simplify and distill the most important elements of the story and let those few bits shine through.

Take a story like 3:10 to Yuma. Now, I usually don’t watch Westerns. I just didn’t find them that interesting. But when I saw James Mangold’s 2007  remake with Christian Bale and Russell Crowe leading – I’ve finally included one in my Favorite Movies list.

The premise of this story is brutally simple but utterly compelling. One man needs to bring a convict to a train station but is having a hard time doing that. The movie was solid and I’m sure it’s because the screenplay was adapted from a short story by Elmore Leonard. Successful short stories often have a straightforward but still engaging narrative.

The goal is crystal clear, the audience knows what’s at stake is with both characters and the obstacles in front of them, all the more trying.

Are you having a hard time making people care about your story? Consider making it simpler and punchier instead of convoluted.

Do you agree/disagree? Sound off in the comments below!

 

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