“In Chretien’s popular story, Lancelot, The Knight of the Cart, the pivotal love story notion of a “proof of love” comes to the fore. And that proof of love element proved so cathartic for his audience that it became the must-have for every love story that followed…” – Shawn Coyne, What I Mean by Love Story
In Part 2 of his 6 part guest post series on stevenpressfield.com, Shawn Coyne looks back to the 12th century and the original Arthurian literary innovation as the genesis of the obligatory “proof of love” scene in any Love Story.
As an audiobook producer/narrator I’ve begun utilizing the concepts in Shawn’s book, The Story Grid, to analyze the novels I narrate before recording them. My first application of this method is in production now. As I post this article, I’ve just completed recording Chapter 4 of Vacation by JC Miller. So yes, it’s very early to be evaluating the effectiveness of my new pre-production approach. Will it make a difference in the finished product? Will it enhance the listener’s engagement and enjoyment of the Story?
So far, I’m finding that, because I have an intimate relationship with the Story as a result of my analysis, I am much more confident in my interpretation and delivery.
For example, knowing that I’m in the “inciting incident” scene evokes a sense of drama appropriate for the event that makes the story start. It affects my oral dynamics, tone, pace, inflection, intensity. I know it’s an obligatory scene for the genre and I know specifically how that obligatory scene serves the Story. So my focus is on ensuring that the scene functions as such and serves the Story in that critical capacity. My goal is for the Story to enthrall the listener so that time is suspended as the Story fires the imagination.
Vacation is set for a summer 2017 release. Here is a preview clip from a scene shortly following the inciting incident, where William, our protagonist, worn down by grief and loneliness, has made his first mistake ever in the lab, and co-workers convince him to take his first vacation in 10 years.
I will continue posting short clips as I move through production.