The day after 9/11, 2001, I got to interview my cousin Theresa, who escaped from the 57th floor of Tower I after it was hit by the plane. Thirteen years later now, I have read the story I wrote for the Poynter website based upon that interview. It gave me chills, not because of the way it was written or constructed, but for the sheer drama and terror of the catastrophe it describes. In my lifetime I can think of no story, no breaking news event – not even the Kennedy assassination – that affected me so deeply, that changed the way I view the world.
Screenwriter Robert McKee teaches that every good story needs an “inciting incident,” that sudden, unexpected moment that rips through the fabric of normal life and changes almost everything. On Breaking Bad, a high school chemistry teacher, Walter White, gets a diagnosis that he is dying of cancer. Read more