Tags: transformation stories

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.
BrainUnderRepair
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses 6.16: Gender Roles -- Black, White, and Gray

Writing Excuses 6.16: Gender Roles -- Black, White, and Gray

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2011/09/18/writing-excuses-6-16-gender-roles-black-white-and-gray/

Key Points: There's a bigger spectrum of gender than most of us ever imagine. And sexual orientations. Be wary of the big reveal -- that's not the only thing in a person's life. Transformation stories should be more than peep shows. Gender roles and social expectations should be solidly grounded. Gender roles are not just abstractions -- they play out everyday in homes near you! Whatever you do -- think about it.
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[Brandon] Yeah. All right. I'm going to go ahead... I made the guest do it last time, so I'm going to throw it at Howard.
[Howard] Uh-oh.
[Brandon] Howard, you've got to give us a writing prompt.
[Howard] Okay. Writing prompt. Take something that you do, that you think is unique to you, not only because it's your thing, but because it's maybe gender related to you. Take it, and hand it to somebody, a character in your book who you think is completely unqualified for it, unable to do it. Now define their character around the reasons why they have to accept that task, or that role or whatever. Make that work.
[Brandon] All right. This is been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.
[Applause]
[Brandon] Thank you so much, Keffy. That was great.