Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Heroes in Storytelling

I've posted about the need for heroes and their popularity in storytelling before. I'm glad I'm in good company. Barbara Nicolosi is a script writer and consultant in Hollywood who is on the forefront of faith and creativity in cinema. She is a strong Christian voice that has some clout in her field.

She gave a lecture to the San Diego Christian Writers Guild at the first of October. She posted the notes from her speech on her blog. She states that it isn't the same as being there for the talk, but the outline is pretty spectacular in its own right. I recommend checking this link out for anyone interested in writing.

One passage that really caught my eye was this:

i) There is a positive side to Holywood's desire to create heroes with a dark side. It is coming from a rejection of melodrama and sentimentalism. SENTIMENTALISM IS THE PROBLEM FOR US CHRISTIANS. We want to show that God is basically in charge of the world so everything is really okay. We want to give God the benefit of the doubt.

j) Facing the Giants is anti-heroic because it costs the hero nothing. The Christianity depicted in the movie is a rejection of the cross and presents a fantasy religion in which believing in Jesus means no suffering. “Give me some of that Jesus stuff!” The truth is Christianity promises that we will suffer without despair...and probably we will suffer more than others!

k) Flannery: “Sentimentalism is the one inexcusable defect for the Christian storyteller because it is an overemphasis on innocence.” We know that there must always be original sin in the story. No human person is perfect and immune from temptation.

Note those points are outline notes. I sure wish I could have heard the further discussion of those points!

Hat tip to Tom Neven via The Point


  1. Sometimes I get tired of the trend of dark heroes, and just want to see a decent, upstanding human being. But we are kidding ourselves if we're trying to show perfect people.

  2. What she said makes sense. Even the best heroes fall down and need to get up.