Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Chap. 2 Bell, Structure: Holding a Plot Together

 Bell begins this chapter with an anecdote, his son wrote a simple book with four pages.

 Robin Hood went riding.
 A bad guy came.
 They fought.
He won. (Of course one wonders who won. . .I would like to think the kid is a dark soul. . .)

 This is essentially the structure of a standard plot. He explains that plot is about elements, the pieces that go into making a good story even better. Structure is about timing, where the pieces go. He recommends the three act structure for the simple reason that it works. It is odd how certain numbers just seem to fit the human soul. 3, so many trilogies, bell curves are basically three, there is something harmonic about this form and it helps stories to flow better. In a basic story the lead is presented with a problem (Act I), grapples with the problem (Act II), and then solves the problem (Act III).
  He points out that beginnings are about who, an introduction to the lead and why we should care. Middles are about a series of confrontations or battles between the lead and any oppositions. Here subplots can be interwoven. And, of course, ending are about resolutions. Even stories that will continue on to another book establish some kind of resolution at the end, even if this resolution is to grapple with another problem in the future.
 These ideas are basically a repetition of what he touched on earlier in the book, so we could looka thtem as reinforcement. He does move on to new material. The Mythic structure. He presents Star Wars as an example of the Mythic structure.

 Intro to hero's world.
Call to adventure
Hero may ignore of heed the call
The hero crosses the threshold into a dark world
A mentor may appear to teach the hero
Various encounters with forces of darkness
The hero has a dark moment within himself that he must over come
There is a talisman to aid in the battle
A final battle is fought
The hero returns to his home

He points out that while some have argued this is a different structure, it is simply an expanded 3 act structure. 1-4 are Act I, 5-8 are Act II, 9 & 10 are Act III.

When I look at my own story it dies include many of these elements, but the order is a bit different. I had not thought of my story ad a Mythic type, but well. . .

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