October 20th, 2016

Me typing?
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses 11.42: Elemental Drama As a Sub-Genre

Writing Excuses 11.42: Elemental Drama As a Sub-Genre

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2016/10/16/11-42-elemental-drama-as-a-sub-genre/

Key points: Drama means character change. It's a basic component of a compelling story. How you introduce the conflict helps to distinguish between primary genre and subgenre. Often subgenres are short, poignant shifts, in one scene. Why add them? Because readers connect with drama, with the emotional impact. How do you add it? Think about who the character wants to be, and their fatal flaw. That gives you an internal struggle that you can manifest in external conflicts. Also consider having the character be mistaken about what they need, and discover what they really need. Subtle moments, like turning off the targeting computer, can be wonderful moments of subgenre drama. Watch for the don, don, don moments! Make sure your character earns those moments, don't just play the music and expect cheers.
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[Brandon] We are out of time on this episode.
[Laughter]
[Brandon] Mary ruined it. We're going to run and cut it right there. We are going to give it back to Mary dangerously to give us some homework.
[Mary] All right. So. We have been talking about the ways in which a character's internal conflict affects the people around them. What I want you to think about is your starting example is you know when you're driving someplace and you're having an intense car conversation about something really heavy while at the same time having to navigate. So you have two conflicts going on simultaneously. You have an emotional conflict and a logistical conflict. What I want you to do is, I want you to look at your manuscript and take two scenes that have different conflicts. One is emotional, and related to the character's internal drama. The other is a logistical one. I want you to combine them so that things happen in the same scene in concert. Your character's going to be bouncing back and forth between dealing with those two things. Their emotional state is going to affect the way they approach the logistical problems. So I want you to try to blend those two things to make that subgenre happen within a single scene.
[Brandon] Awesome. And our audience. You guys are awesome, too.
[Yay! Whistles]
[Brandon] Thank you guys so much. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses. Now go write.