World, Writing, Wealth discussion

Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting
This topic is about Story
Storytelling and Writing Craft > McKee: 2. The Elements of Story - With Video Tutes by R. Claire

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message 1: by Graeme (last edited Sep 10, 2018 02:24PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Graeme Rodaughan McKee breaks up the elements of story into, a structure spectrum, setting, genre, character and meaning.

This thread will be devoted to reading this part of his book, and exploring the specific techniques under discussion.

In addition, we have a number of excellent videos by group member R. Claire presenting the material in a digestible form.

Graeme Rodaughan Note that during discussions, it is entirely ok for a member to contribute a snippet of their story to demonstrate a point, or to ask a question.

The intent of these threads are to illuminate the principles and techniques that underlie effective story-telling in ways that help people to internalize the skills and bring them into their storytelling.

We're workshopping.

Graeme Rodaughan Hi Regina, your videos are great. This is the right thread for anything related to a topic found within part 2 of the book.

Graeme Rodaughan My apologies with my efforts around this book. Slammed by work commitments, and my own writing.

Graeme Rodaughan Slow is good, I actually hope the reads would occur over several months. The book is rich with detail with lots to explore and absorb.

Graeme Rodaughan Thanks Regina, your contribution here is amazing.

Graeme Rodaughan I found it directly applicable in my own writing.

Graeme Rodaughan Excellent.

message 9: by Graeme (last edited Jul 27, 2018 01:46AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Graeme Rodaughan R. wrote: "Here's my latest discussion video for part two. Where did everybody go? :)"

Hi Regina, in response to your first video re Ch 2 "The Structure Spectrum." I found this whole chapter incredible relevant to my own writing and pivotal to establishing a vocabulary of working terms.

Structure, Event, Story Values, Scene, Active or Passive Protagonist, Linear or Nonlinear time, Causality vs Coincidence, Consistent vs Inconsistent Realities. The concept of an Archplot, Miniplot, or Antiplot. All these things have a specific meaning for a working writer.

My books are superficially built round the Miniplot architecture, but with multiple active protagonists who are each following an Archplot design - just interwoven. But I wouldn't have known that without reading this chapter.

I'm drawn to the Archplot architecture, yet I don't have a character who I believe could carry it off by themselves, by the same token, if I did, I'd probably write it in the first person.

Graeme Rodaughan Yep - nothing like bad design to tank a story. The key value for me with this specific book is that it allows you to avoid a host of common errors and mistakes - provided the writer takes it on board.

When I was writing my first book, I had about 50 post it notes stuck through out this book with all sorts of comments and ideas.

Graeme Rodaughan For value shifts are you talking about within a scene or like this.

Scene 1 shifts -ve to +ve
Scene 2 shifts +ve to -ve.


Scene 1, one of the good guys progresses by finding out some important info.
Scene 2, A new bad guy is revealed and his agenda is horrific,

So the shift in value is from scene to scene, rather than within the scene.

What's your experience?

Graeme Rodaughan R. wrote: "Hi! Here's my video on Chapter Three. I'm not sure if this is the right thread:"

The War on Cliche is particularly pertinent. I found myself thinking a lot about the specific conventions of my genre, including the "removal of the mentor," which is necessary to force the young hero to act independently and grasp their necessary power within the world.

There are various ways in which this is done, which can easily be cliches. I have thought of a solution, which I've not seen before which implements the convention perfectly, while busting it wide open. It's still a way into the future, but I believe it will work.

Graeme Rodaughan The point about creative limitation is spot on. "Constraints will set you free."

You example of 'invisibility,' is a classic deus ex machina. Setting the rules helps avoid narrative issues like DeMs.

Graeme Rodaughan You have to live the emotional truth of what you are writing to be able to authentically communicate that to the reader.

I've shed tears over sad scenes.

Graeme Rodaughan Being clear about genre is not just pivotal to understand a given story, but also the whole marketing angle.

Graeme Rodaughan The advice on writing in the genre you love regardless of current fashions is spot on.

You have to love what you're writing otherwise - it's just torture.

If I had to write historical romance, I'd be scratching my own eyes out to distract myself from the agony within five minutes.

Or else- I'd write it as farce.

message 17: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11797 comments Graeme wrote: "My books are superficially built round the Miniplot architecture, but with multiple active protagonists who are each following an Archplot design - just interwoven. But I wouldn't have known that without reading this chapter."

Which raise the question, should you just write without getting too deeply into the analytical side of it? Do you just write or should you follow a set of guidelines?

Graeme Rodaughan The thing is, I got the details around the Archplot from this book, and where I could I closely followed it.

The Miniplot aspect comes in as I have two big threads for my MCs (Protagonist and Antagonist), who each follow to a large extent the Archplot, but because there are two MCs, it's a break from the Archplot design.

A film like "The Fugitive," is classic Archplot. The camera is always on the MC.

In a story format, Archplot would have every scene with the MC's POV, or written in the 1st person.

message 19: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11797 comments I suppose on the whole I am a miniplot advocate, because invariably have several strands working towards the end.

Graeme Rodaughan R. wrote: "P.S. I'm very active on Wattpad, and I've already had a lot of success on that site because I designed a story series specifically to meet that demographic while still staying within my own genre. ..."

That's an eye opener.

Graeme Rodaughan Thanks R, That's a great video.

Graeme Rodaughan Chapter 6 is filled with gems.

There is one statement.

Progressions build by moving dynamically between the positive and negative charges of the values at stake in the story.

Which I really took on board. What I do is swap +ve/-ve charge at the act and chapter level, but I'm finding it difficult as I get into my story to maintain a clean distinction, as both my MC and their Nemesis are complicated.

Sometimes, what is good for one is clearly bad for the other, but sometimes they might get what appears to be a victory, but it's really just the first step towards a heavier defeat.

It can be difficult being clear just who is 'winning,' in a given moment.

Graeme Rodaughan Cool R. Looking forward to it.

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