This really is classic stuff. Note that he says: “A GUY who gets in trouble …”, “A GUY finds something wonderful …” “It’s a LITTLE GIRL …” My point being, story shapes are all about the character. To learn some great tricks on how to create wonderful characters, consider my PD for ATAR English teachers July 2017. Details here. For more of Kurt Vonnegut, click here.Read more ->.
I know the talk is actually called The Mystery Box, but there’s a point at about half way through where he reveals one critical element of story: what he calls the investment of character. Stories are about characters and the circumstances of their relationships. All of which means, as a writer, you can’t know too much about your characters. But how do you avoid the stereotypes? How do you invest in characters who speak to the reader’s heart? Join me July 2017 at the Creative Writing PD Masterclass for ATAR English teachers, and we’ll see. Details here.Read more ->.
The storyteller begins, ‘Once upon a time …’ and ends, ‘… and they lived happily ever after.’ In between is an illustration of what happens to a character who ‘lived’ at that time and the struggles that marked the way to winning ‘the fair hand’ with whom the happily ever after is to be spent. Oh, but … I hear you say, not all stories are fairy tales. And, naturally, I agree with you. Yet, all stories require these two moments: an announcement that something is about to happen, and an announcement that because of what happened some sort of satisfactory conclusion arose. ThisRead more ->.
Andrew Stanton delivers an excellent summary of much of what has become the Born Storytellers process of creating story. He points to a number of the theoretical devices we use in our creative acts, and he outlines why we need to apply these theories to break away from formulas that have us retelling the same stories. Of course he doesn’t know he does these things. But consider the similarities: Know your ending Know what changes Give characters a hidden need or desire Raise story questions that promise the reader/viewer a worthy experience Create with anticipation and uncertainty Don’t rely on rules,Read more ->.
What I find interesting about this, is the idea that story is multi-faceted, it has perspective. But perspective is not available from a single viewpoint, it requires multiple viewpoints. Adiche says in this talk, that “The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.” So, in order to break stereotypes, you need to apply the same thinking. Single viewpoint characters are flat, unstructured, whereas interesting characters have multiple facets, which means they can be (and should be) observed from differentRead more ->.