Improv 250: Long Stories Are Just A Series of Short Stories

It can be daunting complete something large. (long form improv, a novel, heck even a short improv)

Like the saying goes: How do you eat an elephant? One small bite at a time.

With larger projects consider each small moment a small story in and of itself.

The basic plot of any story I can think of is this: There is some sort of discontentment, let’s work on fixing that. That’s the story. It also covers pretty much any action people do moment to moment.

“He was discontented and tired, so he drank a cup of coffee.”  

Is the same as:

“He felt discontented with his life as a moisture farmer on a distant desert planet so he took off with an old mystic, a couple robots, a space smuggler, and a giant walking carpet beast to save the princess.”

… Pretty much the same story, right? The one about the coffee is pretty good. Could probably add some more details, but the point remains.

Telling big stories is the same as telling small stories. Epics are constructed the same way as going to get coffee. Discontented character wants something, and does things to get it. You can get all Hero’s Journey about it if you want, but I feel like complicating things does just that, complicates things. Complicates until you’ve given yourself enough false justification to not create a story at all.

In improv, don’t think about the whole scene, just tell the story of each moment within the moment.

*Thanks for reading. Please check out my new book The Continuing Adventures of Byron & Bing: Sunset Gold.  You can get it on Amazon, although, honestly I see more profit if you contact me directly:


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