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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Plotting Along a Curve with The Weekend Novelist

Yesterday I got back to business and revisited The Weekend Novelist. Up till now we've been working with the straight line plot and it's been driving me bonkers. Week ends 3- 4, Pages 12 to 23 deal with Plotting Along the Curve.

This is a line that curls around to meet itself. The plot starts and ends in the same place. If your knight leaves the castle to search for the enchanted sword, he returns to the castle at the climax. Joseph Campbell calls this the Heroic Cycle. It has three phases – Departure, Initiation, and Return.

The chapter goes on to say that if the Hero Cycle isn't working for you, you can try the Mythic Journey, which has five stations: Cage, Escape, Quest, Dragon Confrontation, and Home. Now we're talking. I think this will work for me. I drew my circle, sketched in a rough plot and it felt comfortable. Now I'm going to do the exercises – six start lines that function as a warm-up. ten minutes for each.

This is a story about a character who....
The cage for my protagonist tastes like....
My protagonist escapes the cage when....
On her Road of Trial, the protagonist must....
To defeat the Dragon, mu protagonist must....
My protagonist reaches home when....

I'm not too sure about the second one. If anybody knows what a cage tastes like I'd love to hear it.


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2 comments:

Rachel Lynne said...

LOL Gale, I was wondering if that "taste" was a typo! I'm brainstorming ideas for another Romantic Suspense right now and wish I'd joined ya'll for the Weekend Novelist. I think I'll have to pick it up, I've got characters in my head and a very tangled plot at the moment!

Gale Stanley said...

No, it's not a typo and I'm wondering if I'm not understanding something that I should. I may ignore the taste bit and just brainstorm about the cage, which could be anything that's holding the protagonist back. Jump in, the water's fine. We're just at the beginning.