Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Rules For Story Writing

This is just a quickie, 'cause I'm mid study times and realised I hadn't posted since Monday.

I looked up the 7 types of story a while ago, after being told there are these set types of story and if a story doesn't fall into one of these 7 types it's going to fail. It becomes one of those stories that you feel didn't really tell you anything, when you get to the end.

I found 3 versions (take from that what you will)


1) ACHILLES - The almost flawless person, e.g. Superman.

2) CINDERELLA - The dream come true (e.g Dirty Dancing, Prerry Woman.)

3) CIRCE - The chase, e.g The Blues Brothers.

4) FAUST - Selling your soul to the Devil may bring riches, but eventually, you will belong to him, e.g. Wall Street

5) ORPHEUS - The loss of something personal, e.g. Regarding Henry, Farscape (think about John Crichton!)

6) ROMEO & JULIET - The love story, e.g. Sleepless In Seattle.

7) TRISTAN - X loves Y, but one or both are already spoken for, e.g. Fatal Attraction.

1. Overcoming the monster -- defeating some force which threatens...
e.g. most Hollywood movies; Star Wars, James Bond.

2. The Quest -- typically a group setoff in search of something and
(usually) find it. e.g. Watership Down, Pilgrim's Progress.

3. Journey and Return -- the hero journeys away from home to somewhere
different and finally comes back having experienced something and
maybe changed for the better. e.g. Wizard of Oz, Gullivers Travels.

4. Comedy - not neccesarily a funny plot. Some kind of
misunderstanding or ignorance is created that keeps parties apart
which is resolved towards the end bringing them back together. e.g.
Bridget Jones Diary, War and Peace.

5. Tragedy - Someone is tempted in some way, vanity, greed etc and
becomes increasingly desperate or trapped by their actions until at a
climax they usually die. Unless it's a Hollywood movie, when they
escape to a happy ending. e.g. Devils' Advocate, Hamlet.

6. Rebirth - hero is captured or oppressed and seems to be in a state
of living death until it seems all is lost when miraculously they are
freed. e.g. Snow White.

7. Rags to Riches - self explanatory really. e.g. Cinderella &
derivatives (all 27,000 of them)!!!

1. A hero – the person through whose eyes we see the story unfold, set
against a larger background.

2. The hero’s character flaw – a weakness or defense mechanism that
hinders the hero in such a way as to render him/her incomplete.

3. Enabling circumstances – the surroundings the hero is in at the
beginning of the story, which allow the hero to maintain his/her
character flaw.

4. An opponent – someone who opposes the hero in getting or doing what
he/she wants. Not always a villain. For example, in a romantic comedy,
the opponent could be the man or woman whom the hero seeks romance
with. The opponent is the person who instigates the life-changing

5. The hero’s ally – the person who spends the most time with the hero
and who helps the hero overcome his/her character flaw.

6. The life-changing event – a challenge, threat or opportunity
usually instigated by the opponent, which forces the hero to respond
in some way that’s related to the hero’s flaw.

7. Jeopardy – the high stakes that the hero must risk to overcome
his/her flaw. These are the dramatic events that lend excitement and
challenge to the quest.

I just thought I'd share these tips with you, 'cause I know that some of my readers are writers themselves. I looked these up, because I started working on my own novel and figured it wouldn't hurt to do some research. I'd like to know your thoughts on these tips and if you've used them in your writing before.

The actual lists were just copied and pasted from somewhere. Unfortunately they were just pasted into my notepad and were never cited 'cause it was just for personal reference. But if you want to know who really owns those words, I'm sure it wont be too hard to find out. Massive props to them. 

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