24. Home Again
Aunt Em had just come out of the house to water the cabbages when she looked up and saw Dorothy running toward her.
“My darling child!” she cried, folding the little girl in her arms and covering her face with kisses. “Where in the world did you come from?”
“From the Land of Oz,” said Dorothy gravely. “And here is Toto, too. And oh, Aunt Em! I’m so glad to be at home again!”
• ANALYZING THE SCENE •
A Story Event is an active change of universal human value for one or more characters as a result of conflict (one character’s desires clash with another’s or an environmental shift changes the universal human value).
A Working Scene contains at least one Story Event. To determine a scene’s Story Event, answer these four Socratic questions:
1. What are the characters literally doing—that is, what are their micro on-the-ground actions?
Aunt Em is watering cabbages. Dorothy runs toward her.
2. What is the essential tactic of the characters—that is, what macro behaviors are they employing that are linked to a universal human value?
Dorothy gratefully attunes to her everyday reality.
3. What universal human values have changed for one or more characters in the scene? Which one of those value changes is most important and should be included in the Story Grid Spreadsheet?
When in doubt, the Story Grid rule of thumb is to highlight the value that best aligns with the progress of the global human value at stake in the story. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is an Action Story, which has a global value at stake of Life/Death. Throughout the Story Grid Spreadsheet, we’ll track the ways life is threatened or enhanced scene by scene.
The value change is clear, “Exiled to Home.”
4. What Story Event sums up the scene’s on-the-ground actions, essential tactics, and value change? We will enter that event in the Story Grid Spreadsheet.
Dorothy arrives home and rushes into Aunt Em’s arms.
HOW THE SCENE ABIDES THE FIVE COMMANDMENTS OF STORYTELLING
Inciting Incident: Dorothy runs toward Aunt Em.
Turning Point Progressive Complication: Aunt Em is taken aback because she’s been gone so long.
Crisis: Best Bad Choice: If Dorothy tells the truth about where’s she’s been, Aunt Em may think she’s lost her mind. If she doesn’t tell the truth she’ll never be able to live authentically.
Climax: Dorothy tells Aunt Em that she was in the land of Oz.
Resolution: Open ending, but Dorothy is home again.