Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Index Post to Art and Craft of Story and Plot Arcs

Index Post to Art and Craft of Story and Plot Arcs
Jacqueline Lichtenberg

Catch up on these posts before we launch into a wide discussion of constructing "story springboards" and focusing on the episodic structure of story and plot. 

Put these posts together -- like the pixels of an image -- and you will find a 3-D image of how to manipulate the story inside your mind into a novel or series of novels (or a videogame) product that can be marketed by the existing marketing system.

(You can write about inventing a new marketing system that would accommodate your product without manipulation and sell that book to the existing market!)

Here is an index to 8 parts of the THEME-PLOT-INTEGRATION series:


For the Art of Arcs series pay particular attention to:


Here is the STORY SPRINGBOARDS series part 1 and 2 -- part 3 coming next week getting very deep into this subject of "potential energy" in a story concept. Part 4, the following week will discuss how to learn to write an "interesting" story. 


Master Theme Structure, The Camera, Nesting Plots and Stories is the title of the following entry in "verisimilitude vs reality" which covers point of view and shifting point of view.


Part 3 "The Game, The Stakes, the Template continues the point of view discussion.


Remember, to create CONFLICT you must be able to speak FOR the side of any issue in your reader's daily news feed that you deeply, personally, and adamantly disagree with as you present the side you do agree with.  Otherwise, any characcters you set up as adversaries for your Main Character will tend to be "paper tigers." 

For the time you are writing the deeds, thinking, motives and dialogue of the adversary, you must become that person -- believing in your gut all the things you, personally and in real life, abhor. 

That is why Alma Hill taught that WRITING IS A PERFORMING ART -- it is.  You must be an ACTOR to pull off characters Point of View with verisimilitude.

Now the THEME-WORLDBUILDING series -- not yet ready for its own index post but germain to the Art and Craft of Story and Plot ARCS -- the "arc" is built into story/plot at the point where theme and worldbuilding intersect, which is the story-springboard that manifests as conflict. 


THEME-WORLDBUILDING has 7 parts so far:

Part 6 of Theme-Worldbuilding is about the use of Media Headlines -- and reveals the ART OF THE MISNOMER (which is headline writing, and "tagging" complex issues with misleading but short nicknames.)

"Fast Food" as unhealthy because of its speed is a handy example of a misnomer since no food is "faster" than say picking an apple and chomping into it.  Few foods are as healthy as an apple or a handful of fresh-picked blueberries.  So the faster the food, the more healthy it is. 

The MISNOMER is all about misdirecting the attention away from the actual issue. 

In the  case of "fast food" the issue is complex, artificial additives that are manufactured by slow, arduous and expensive chemical processing, as well as fats and oils that have nutritional values tediously processed out of them.  The faster the food, the more healthy it tends to be -- so the correct nomenclature for "Fast Food That Is Bad For You" should be "SLOW FOOD."  Would "Slow Food" make a selling headline?

It's all about MARKETING: 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_public_relations  -- details the development of a mathematical model for controlling the behavior of large groups of people (e.g. MARKETING).  This mathematical model has been the primary mover of modern civilization since the successful application to shoring up the price of bacon for farmers by creating the myth that the "bacon and eggs breakfast" is the path to success in life, starting with commissioning a scholarly study about breakfasts paid for by the firm hired to publicize the health benefits of bacon (because pig farmers were losing money.) 

Much of our current culture is based on manipulating people.  So the misnomer "interesting" is attached to novels, movies, non-fiction subjects, and news broadcasts, as if the attribute "grabs attention" is an attribute intrinsic to the Event or the Report of the Event rather than to the person whose attention has been grabbed.

Of course, if everyone understood what "interesting" really means, no commercial would ever be profitable, and none of our current politicians would be elected.   Public Relations (as a mathematical model of  how to manipulate behavior) only works because the public is ignorant of how and why it works, but Public Relations is what the big Publishers have whole departments of experts to do for writers -- that Indie Writers don't yet know how to do for themselves.  (yet, mind you! yet!)

The "arc" techniques we'll be discussing are much like building a bridge -- whether it can carry the traffic depends on the anchor points and the suspension cables.  It is a structure and the load capability of the structure depends on the materials used and the design of the intersecting points that bear that load.  Arc techniques are all very much like engineering, and also resemble "Public Relations."

Story and Plot are like the pylons and cables that support the roadway.  There is a science to the engineering -- the choice of materials, location the bridge, design of load-bearing angles -- but there's an "art" too because it matters how the thing looks, how it fits into its surroundings, blends with the scenery and at the same time stands out as elegant and beautiful in its own right.  There is also a political component to bridge building in getting the permissions, clearances, contracts, etc.  That political component is analogous to "selling" your story to a "publisher" who will turn it over to their staff of experts in the Publicity Department -- people whose schooling is in Public Relations not story-craft.   

Here are links to Astrology and Tarot posts just for writers:

Here is an index to Astrology posts:

And here is one that carries that subject on a bit farther:


Here is are index posts for the 20 posts on Tarot for writers:



Jacqueline Lichtenberg

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