DZ-68: Using POV to structure KNIVES OUT

Born out of isolation madness, this episode is an edited version of Draft Zero’s first YouTube livestream. Stu and Chas both watched KNIVES OUT and – together with our listeners – broke down each sequence and turning point by reference to what the audience knows in relation to the characters (aka narrative point of view). hey then answer listener questions on KNIVES OUT and much else besides live on air.

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If you want to watch along instead of listen, the video of the episode can be found here:


DZ-67: Writing “Passive” Protagonists & Melodrama

Stu and Chas are joined by Stephen Cleary following his exploration into Melodrama, and together they try to reclaim the word from its pejorative meaning.

By examining powerful Melodramas – like THE HANDMAID’S TALE, LADIES IN BLACK and STRANGER THINGS… with many a tangent on MARRIAGE STORY, PETE’S DRAGON, MILDRED PIERCE, GAME OF THRONES, LOST, THE JOKER, THE KILLING, THE WITCHER, war movies and survival films – the three hosts try to unpick what makes Melodrama an alternate story paradigm to the Hero’s Journey.

They delve into how Melodramas centre on characters that don’t have agency; where the plot happens to characters (as opposed to being driven by them); how Melodramas don’t end so much as close; and how all of the above delves into character questions more deeply than the Hero’s Journey. And to wrap it all up, the kind of techniques you use on the page to write effective melodramas.

CW: There is a lot of discussion in this episode about melodrama being associated with “women’s stories” vs the “hero’s journey” – which is biased towards a ‘masculine’ mode of storytelling – and we fully acknowledge in the show and here that we are three cismen talking about these things.

This episode was edited by Christopher Walker. Audio excerpts used for educational purposes only.