The Hidden Art of Pacing is a three-part trip, which takes you on a journey to trace the core to the hidden art of pacing by stripping familiar story and game structures from standard elements to discern the engaging and motivating forces that trigger the receiver´s building of experiences, feelings, and expectations.
To enhance the reading experience, I suggest you start with the first part if you haven´t done so already.
As a result of the stripping of the dramatic story structure, and the removal of its standard features (acts, turning-points, rising and falling actions), the previous part revealed a learning curve. The flow-state of the learning curve (illustrated below) shows the motivating engine by how the receiver gradually builds experiences and feelings on the path towards the goal.
In this part of “Don´t show, involve” we will follow Jenova Chen´s plotting of the online game “Journey” with the help of the thought-based method Narrative bridging. The article “The journey to create Journey – the quest for emotion”, which this hands-on plotting builds upon, can be found at Gamasutra. If you haven´t read the previous part of “Don´t show, involve”, it can be found here, and for further information about Narrative bridging and its theoretic background, you can go here.
I´m pretty sure you´ve heard the phrase, “Show, don´t tell” as a piece of advice when constructing narratives in film. The origin is said to come from the Russian writer Anton Chekhov who thought writers used too many descriptions and adjectives and should leave the interpretation to the receiver. Today the phrase works as an advising technique for screenwriters to avoid having a character knocking at a door at the same time it says: “I´m knocking on the door to see if my friend is at home”.