Animation Scriptwriting
Stories - Part Three: Story Themes
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Order and chaos

If we have a woman walking down the street doing her shopping, that would be a 'state of order'. If a thief dashed out of a shop and knocked her flying, then that would be a 'state of chaos'. An underlying aspect of all stories is a change from order to chaos. It may be a subtle mental state such as saying "did I leave the gas on?" or "does he still love me?" The situation is unresolved, and therefore something needs to be done to resolve it. In animated films the order to chaos state can be extreme, as in Tom and Jerry films and the like.

Many stories are about trying to retain normality, or restore it. Typical stories of war, spies, cowboys, etc. are about one side trying to create chaos and the other side trying to restore it. In love stories the stable state is where two people love each other; the chaos state is where they don't. In adventure stories stability is achieving your objectives, or at least moving towards them without problems. Chaos comes when unforeseen events happen.


Definition: Instability

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