Saturday, February 22, 2014

What KIND of story are you telling?

10 Second Tip:
What KIND of story are you telling?
EVERY story is in fact a tale about the relationship of an individual (your main character) to society -- symbolized by their workplace, school, their immediate or extended family, the gang they belong to, a best friend, a lover...

  • A comic story (one with a happy ending,) describes an isolated individual achieving social integration either by being accepted into an existing society or by forming his own. This integration is often symbolized by a wedding or party. 
  • A tragic story (one with a sad ending) describes an integrated individual who becomes isolated. Death is simply a symbol of this isolation.

Keep in mind...! 
 -- The plot should keep us in suspense about what kind of story we're reading. 
  • Even if we already know it's a comedy, the precise nature of the comic climax (the punchline that carries us to the happy ending) should come as a surprise.
  • If we already know the hero is doomed, his downfall should be caused by a factor we've been told, but didn't realize was significant.

Don't give everything away by the fourth chapter! A story we can guess the ending to before we're done is NOT a story worth finishing.

Morgan Hawke

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