The Emotional Engine

“After writing movies for thirty-five years I am more convinced than ever it is only about story.

Want to read a good story? Pick up The Little Engine That Could. Sappy and primitive, sure, but…let me tell you, you are rooting with all your heart for that crummy two-bit nothing of a train to get those toys over that mountain.

That’s all it is, this business of writing. Just getting the fucking toys over the mountain.”
-Bill Goldman:

I’m basically trying to get you to look at the emotion that is at the heart of your story – what emotionally drives it? Often times it is simply the pain that a character feels because of a deeper character problem.  This translates viscerally to the audience – and the audience “feels” it and wants the character to remedy it.  This resonant sensation engages the audience and makes them emotional collaborators in the narrative experience. Therefore we root all the more for our characters to ‘feel better’ – and that desire that we share for the character creates a tension that actually helps to push and pull the story forward – like an engine: emotional engine.