October 6th, 2016

Fireworks Delight
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses 11.40: Elemental Drama

Writing Excuses 11.40: Elemental Drama

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2016/10/02/11-40-elemental-drama/

Key Points: Drama as an elemental genre focuses on a character's journey and transformation, and how this affects everyone around them. Character transformation is elemental drama. Coming-of-age stories, descent into madness, whenever a character learns something and changes. That is the driving force that keeps you reading, how is this character changing. Drama often starts with a downward slope, but it does not have to have a tragic ending. Drama often has a catharsis, a release of tension as we experience the change. As writers, use progress, the try-fail cycle, to keep the reader engaged. Also, make the characters interesting! Many dramas have other elemental genres supporting it. The downward slope is often where the character is broken down to allow rebuilding. What are the beats in a drama? Tearing down or showing what's broken. Also showing what is not broken. Showing the moment of decision that starts the descent. Something that shows they can succeed, that there is a capacity and a spark. Often there is a character who shows what the main character needs to succeed. Often there is also a foreshadowing or example of what happens if they fail.

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[Brandon] Let's go ahead and give some homework. Mary, you're going to give us some homework?
[Mary] Yeah. So we've been talking about the foreshadowing of failure state, and frequently in dramas, you have a character who represents that failure state. We talked about the fool, we talked about the dropout druggie kid in the coming-of-age stories. So I want you to do is I want you to look at something that you have recently written, and go back and insert a character. Make them integral. Insert a character who represents the failure state for your protagonist.
[Brandon] Excellent. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses. Now go write.