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The Seven Basic Plots

The Seven Basic Plots
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Writers' forum - J K Rowling's Writing Process | authonomy writing community From this site Planning This is by far the most underrated of the steps in the writing process. And in the final wash up it is absolutely the most important. It was 1990 and Jo Rowling was on a train between Manchester and London. But did she go home and immediately begin scribbling a story with these characters? Would you attempt to build a house without plans? When you are writing, you are just writing. JK Rowling planned the Harry Potter series for five years before she put pen to paper on the first book She wrote the entire first book, and felt as though she were “carving it out of this mass of notes”. This is the best possible place for you to be in when you are writing a novel. Jo Rowling said she felt she “had to do right by the book”. Jo Rowling rewrote the opening chapter of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone a total of 15 times. Writing and rewriting are separate processes. And who knows? Suzanne Harrison

For Your Company To Last, The "Brand" Must Die. But Stories Should Survive Off the coast of Newfoundland is a place called Fogo Island . At the height of its economy, about 3,000 people were living on the island, mostly employed by the fishery. When the fish population declined in the 1960s, so did the human population, as many were forced to look elsewhere for work. Recently, a brother and sister who were a part of that exodus have returned home. The project was about telling an already wonderful story directly. Bruce Mau Design was invited in to help clearly define the story of what the Cobbs are about. We are proud to be associated with the project, even in our humble way. Branding's beginnings We use the word "branding" to describe the act of shaping the perceptions of a product or service for consumers. Our modern notion of branding was invented during the Industrial Revolution, when products were being mass-produced and exported. But in every case, at these early stages of branding, the product was still the heart. The new consumer A new force has emerged.

25 Ways To Fuck With Your Characters As storyteller, you are god. And to be frank, you’re not a particularly nice god — at least, not if you want your story to resonate with readers. A good storyteller is a crass and callous deity who treats the characters under his watchful eye like a series of troubled butt-puppets. From this essential conflict — storyteller versus character — a story is born. (After all, that’s what a plot truly is: a character who strives to get above all the shit the storyteller dumps on his fool head.) Put differently, as a storyteller it’s your job to be a dick. It’s your job to fuck endlessly with the characters twisting beneath your thumb. And here’s 25 ways for you to do just that. 1. Gods have avatars, mortal or semi-mortal beings that exist on earth to embody the deity’s agenda. 2. The audience and the character must know the stakes on the table — “If you don’t win this poker game, your grandmother will lose her beloved pet orangutan, Orange Julius.” 3. 4. 5. 6. This one? 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

Your Expertise is Worth Money: 5 Sites You Can Write For Plenty of people start blogging with the hope of making some money off their expertise. But it can be difficult to turn a profit on blogging: until you’ve built up a significant readership, you can expect only a few cents worth of Google AdSense revenue. There are certainly easier ways to earn money by writing about your area of expertise. There are plenty of sites that will pay for your short articles, although several have some drawbacks. Associated Content Associated Content has been online for almost four years. You must have a PayPal account to receive payments from Associated Content. Helium Another fairly well-known site that accepts articles is Helium. Helium also makes payments through PayPal and will only pay out if your balance has reached at least $25. myLot If you don’t want to write a full article, you can earn money on myLot by participating in discussions on the site. Suite101 Unlike the previous three sites, Suite101 requires prospective writers to apply. BrightHub

Writing Your Brand Story This entry was originally posted on December 5, 2005 at the old Brandstory blog (link available for a limited time). Every once in a while I read a post that makes me think, I wish I had written that. This post by John Winsor is one. Adding to thoughts posted by John Moore at Brand Autopsy (follow the link for a free PDF), John Winsor writes about the elements of a good story. Great ideas to keep in mind when developing or telling your story. It’s one thing to talk about what your story should include. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

25 Things You Should Know About Character Previous iterations of the “25 Things” series: 25 Things Every Writer Should Know 25 Things You Should Know About Storytelling And now… Here you’ll find the many things I believe — at this moment! 1. Without character, you have nothing. 2. A great character can be the line between narrative life and story death. 3. Don’t believe that all those other aspects are separate from the character. 4. The audience will do anything to spend time with a great character. 5. It is critical to know what a character wants from the start. 6. It doesn’t matter if we “like” your character, or in the parlance of junior high whether we even “like-like” your character. 7. It is critical to smack the audience in the crotchal region with an undeniable reason to give a fuck. 8. You must prove this thesis: “This character is worth the audience’s time.” 9. Don’t let the character be a dingleberry stuck to the ass of a toad as he floats downriver on a bumpy log. 10. 11. 12. 13. The law of threes. 15. 16. 17. 18.

Lessons In Brand Storytelling We’re sick of the same old song and dance. Our tastes have expanded. Not just with food, but how we consume information, relationships, and experiences. Social media storytelling is changing things. We demand communication that doesn’t insult our intelligence. Distanced authority is how too many companies have been taught they’re supposed to talk. Of course then there are the brands that step into social media like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. We’re sick of the self-promotional ego machinations. Web 2.0 democratized how brands share, sell, or shill products to a global audience. It’s hard to admit, brands don’t get far using the new tools if they’re still talking in the old voice. As the NYC street artist and philosopher De La Vega reminds us, ‘Believe in yourself. Thankfully, I’m not the only one drinking this flavored kool aid. Whether it’s established innovators like Zappos and Zipcar or some of the newer upstarts like, crowdSPRING, and Mailchimp. And Kimbarovsky explains:

Answer the...Call To Adventure: How Many Plots are There? For a long time now scholars have sought an answer to this question and depending on where you look and who you ask, you’re likely to get an answer of anything from two to two hundred. There are conflicting responses to this question because a definitive answer does not actually exist. A lot of writers would even argue that it’s pointless to even ponder such a thing. It seems to make sense, though, to look at what people have had to say about the issue and for writers to make up their own minds. Two Plots A stranger comes to town. Someone leaves on an adventure. Seven Plots The comedy. Rebirth. Rags to riches. Voyage and return. Overcoming the monster. The quest. Tragedy. And then there’s thirty-six Supplication Deliverance Revenge Vengeance by Family upon Family Pursuit Victim of Cruelty or Misfortune Disaster Revolt Daring Enterprise Abduction Enigma Obtaining Familial Hatred Familial Rivalry Murderous Adultery Madness Fatal Imprudence Involuntary Crimes of Love Kinsman Kills Unrecognised Kinsman Adultery Ambition

The 5 Most Memorable Concepts From Nancy Duarte’s New Book, Resonate When Nancy Duarte announced her second book, a prequel to her wonderful first book, Slideology, I was excited. But when I heard that it was designed to teach about harnessing the power of stories and storytelling in presentations, I was beside myself. I’ve been a fan of many different art forms for as long as I can remember, and I’ve always been particularly drawn to the storytellers, from Billy Joel and Ben Folds, to Tolkien and Spielberg. But despite the large volume of film, music, and literature I’ve consumed in my life, I’ve never really studied the structure of these stories in any great detail. I purchased the book shortly after it came out about four months ago and during those four months I’ve been poring over it, reading and re-reading the especially good bits. But what I realized is that there are several images and concepts from the book that have stuck in my mind even long after reading them. 1. [Image source:] 2. 3. 4. 5.

The Pixar Touch - history of Pixar - Blog - Pixar story rules (one version) Pixar story artist Emma Coats has tweeted a series of “story basics” over the past month and a half — guidelines that she learned from her more senior colleagues on how to create appealing stories: #1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes. #2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. #3: Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. #4: Once upon a time there was ___. #5: Simplify. #6: What is your character good at, comfortable with? #7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. #8: Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. #9: When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. #10: Pull apart the stories you like. #11: Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. #12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. #13: Give your characters opinions. #14: Why must you tell THIS story?

Blog | Duarte Blog | Page 5 Just a couple more stops until the Death Star. @sean_voegeli Many of our employees live a long way from the office. One of our designers has a particularly hellish trek. Sean Voegeli* is a talented illustrator, avid Instagrammer, and loyal Star Wars fan. First, where can we find your work? What tools do you use? I like Adobe Draw a lot. How has your #creativecommute affected your day? On the way home, it’s a good way to unwind and transition into dad-mode. How do you decide what to draw? Which comes first, illustration or photo? How long does each piece take to make? Why Instagram? Do you have a favorite piece? “All strollers and droids must enter through the gate please.” And this one. Don’t you dare order a hotdog at this Disneyland stand. Last question, who should we be following on Instagram? Even if you can’t draw, you can spend your commute being creative and productive. So we dare you. *Voegeli is pronounced “vaguely” in case you were wondering.

Limyaael’s Rants | Curiosity Quills This is an unofficial mirror of the famous Limyaael/Lightning on the Wave/Arin i Asolde literary rants. You will find here a wealth of advice, warnings, and witty commentary on just about every aspect of constructing a story – from character design, to worldbuilding, to avoiding cliches. The original rants are scattered throughout her LiveJournal, InsaneJournal, and JournalFen. Her work is truly an inspiration to the Curiosity Quills team, and we were deeply saddened when she completely disappeared off the face of the earth some time in 2010. Having meticulously followed the trail of Limyaael’s virtual breadcrumbs, we created this page as a centralized repository of her work, for posterity and as a sign of respect and appreciation.