Previously, we looked at the ‘Something explodes’ card from the point of view of taking it literally. Now it’s time to step it up a notch.
In this series of posts, I’m going to show you how this one card can be used to tell many different types of stories, and affect much more change than you might imagine.
The natural follow-up to a literal explosion is a metaphorical explosion. In this case, one small plot point can have a knock-on effect for your characters: an emotional reaction.
Emotions are complicated and varied, which makes this a useful reminder that your characters should feel more than one thing and at more than one level. How a character feels affects how they act, and how they act affects the plot.
Some things to consider:
- Is it a happy reaction? (e.g. cheering)
- Is it an angry reaction? (e.g. shouting)
- Is it a sad reaction? (e.g. crying)
- Is it a fearful reaction? (e.g. screaming)
The Pixar movie Inside Out explores this concept of emotion well, and demonstrates an important fact to remember: emotional reactions are rarely just one thing.
As we grow older, and develop more intimate relationships, an explosion of emotion can come from a place of anger and sadness, happiness and fear, or any other combination of the above at different levels of potency – an unpredictable emotional cocktail that you wouldn’t order at the bar.