Ira Glass Quotes
The story is a machine for empathy. In contrast to logic or reason, a story is about emotion that gets staged over a sequence of dramatic moments, so you empathize with the characters without really thinking about it too much. It is a really powerful tool for imagining yourself in other people's situations.
One of the things I learned as a young semiotics nerd was that if you have plot moving forward, no matter how banal the facts of it, simply the fact that the plot is rolling forward makes you wonder what's going to happen next, which creates suspense. So you can control peoples' attention simply by having things move forward in a story.
Harry Potter to me is a bore. His talent arrives as a gift; he's chosen. Who can identify with that? But Hermione - she's working harder than anyone, she's half outsider, right? Half Muggle. She shouldn't be there at all. It's so unfair that Harry's the star of the books, given how hard she worked to get her powers.
When I was a bad writer, I would consciously imitate other NPR writers who I thought were wonderful. I suppose that everyone's artistic practice is different. But I collaborate and sometimes don't agree at all with my collaborators' opinions. It forces you to understand why you don't agree with something: what's the fight you're picking.