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Posted Yesterday, 11:17 AM


Master Plots and Genres
The Protagonist and the antagonist. 
The hero's journey (Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings) and a stranger comes to town (Cat in the Hat). 
Master plots are recurring story types like the old rags to riches tale told over and over. These are called cultural myths or master narratives. Only the story patterns change. They are universal and tend to go in and out of style as culture dictates. Master plots look at cultural practices and historical trends. Discovering and re-discovering universal truths. At the very beginning of a story the reader will be thrown off balance and taken on a journey or introduced to a strange element or figure. A destabilizing event is the antagonist that begins the adventure. 
Master plots are not necessarily literately in nature. They can be framed in any genre. A genre is todays critical term defining a type or category. They also extend out into other media and ideological forms. Fiction and non-fiction are the two basic distinctions. Nonfiction gives us the facts and tells the truth. Fiction puts the reader in touch with their emotions and can enlighten all our efforts in learning the larger truths of life. Fiction provokes thought by delving into the universe and discovering old plots and re-writing new ones. Finding a larger story and framing a plot to make it interesting to the reader.
Genres are usually in opposition to each other. Or at least they're supposed to be. Westerns are not horror stories and science fiction tales of fantasy are not legal thrillers. Right? Well, sometimes it doesn't work out that way. It really doesn't have to. The master plot will tell the moral of the tale if it's told well and with an interesting framework. Crossing the lines and stirring the pot by mixing genres together is a common practice. Try this little trick when picking up an unfamiliar book at the library: Read the first sentence and try to guess the genre or do it without looking at the picture on the cover or reading the blurb in the back nor any of the reviews to give it away. Can you guess which genre? Titles and authors can be a dead give-a-way so just pick a book at random and see if you can guess the type of story by playing that little game. 
In closing, here are a couple of questions to ask about some of the books you've already read:
How many stories in any genre follow the pattern of 'the journey' or the 'stranger'?
What are your favorite examples of these two forms of Master Plot? 
...till next time...



Discerning and creating patterns

Genres put us in a frame of mind to accept story content.
Is 'genre' a pejorative term used to describe a work as pulp fiction compared to a higher piece of literature?

What is 'mainstream' genre?

Would you expect trolls to appear in a Jane Austin novel?

Genres are just categories with sets of expectations for the reader. They set constraints, rules, and conventions that shape the patterns within the piece. Any abstract can be a foundation for a genre. Categories can criss cross within each other. Larger categories can contain many forms of genre.

Large genres focus more on form. Novel, prose, or poetry work like genres. Notice how that form can contain any type of genre. Bring in other categories inside such as drama, tragedy, and comedy. In turn these can contain there own sub genre such as sci fi, fantasy, political fiction. Genres can criss cross in strange ways and follow their own patterns.

Realism is just a genre. A set of conventions that people abide by to tell a story. All literature is lies. Consider any dialog within a novel. Do people really talk to each other in the way it is written? Try recording and transcribing an ordinary conversation at dinnertime with your family. Notice the flow? What is more 'real'? Even descriptions within a story can be questioned this way. Look for the use of metaphor to describe reality. It's all blended together to present a version of what is real to the reader.

Genre helps to set up how people receive any kind of material. The more formulas, the more cliches, and the more colloquialisms the better.

Using these conventions helps authors and readers play around with the trolls inside our own heads. And perhaps gives people a sense of commonality that we seem to lack in our own individuality. Stories themselves are a real thing. Is what inside a story helping you with your own version of realism?


Posted 23 September 2018 - 02:04 PM

:Banana_Dance: :Banana_Dance: :Banana_Dance: :Banana_Dance: :Banana_Dance: :Banana_Dance: :Banana_Dance:






:GrinNod1: :chuckle:

Posted 23 September 2018 - 01:48 PM

The Neophytes delve into a discussion with their fictional audience about Walter J. Ong's discussion of fictional audiences. The real question is: who is real, who is fiction and who is living in a solipsistic nightmare?The Neophytes delve into a discussion with their fictional audience about Walter J. Ong's discussion of fictional audiences. The real question is: who is real, who is fiction and who is living in a solipsistic nightmare?

Posted 23 September 2018 - 12:55 PM

:Banana_Dance: :Banana_Dance: :Banana_Dance: :Banana_Dance: :Banana_Dance: :Banana_Dance: :Banana_Dance:



Posted 23 September 2018 - 12:50 PM


Posted 23 September 2018 - 12:29 PM










:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:



Posted 23 September 2018 - 12:18 PM

Framing the narrative: A web of speakers and hearers.

Finding the balancing point between tension and resolution. Keeping track of the causes and their effects. How are the cosmic patterns portrayed? Framing the narrative with an outer story to hold a inner story or stories takes a bit of diligent planning. One past example would be Dante's The Divine Comedy and a contemporary example would be the TV show Castle Rock based on a fictional town used in many Stephen King novels. Another way to do the frame narrative is to tell the same story from different points of view.

1st person - I - the narrator can only tell about what he knows or is thinking about.
2nd person - you are here, you are there - not many can tell the story this way.
3rd person - He, she, it - Very limited omniscience about one particular character or a gods eye view of the overall picture.

Bring in the irony :chuckle: that's when the reader knows something the characters do not. Creating more pathos in the reader. Willingly Suspending beliefs in the sublime safety of an artificial interaction because a good author makes it happen in the readers mind.




Posted 22 September 2018 - 04:48 PM

4D Chess?








Posted 22 September 2018 - 04:28 PM


Going through my glossary of fallacies I noticed that Irony needed a bit of attention. I think a bit about it here is appropriate:
Does the title of this thread indicate a bit of irony?
Were you intrigued because it portended an occultish feel about it?
Or were you interested simply because your bullshit detector was running and you'd thought you'd have some fun.
Warning alert: 
What is being hinted at in between the lines? 
Is it slippery and wet with ambiguouus narrative? 
Do you detect any vanities, pretentiousness, or self righteous presumptions?
Does your own reading reflect any inner ironies still undetected?  
Irony helps us to find the reality as a reader. It's a free and indirect discourse using a a third person character to take over the narration. It makes it hard to know what the narrator really thinks. Detecting irony takes time and re-readings to find the discrepancies in language to catch on to any hidden truths. Irony looks beyond conventional wisdom and is used to sharpen a readers vision. 
Verbal irony is simple enough - it's when words don't match their meaning. They provide verbal wittisms to interest the readers attention. Sarcasm is one such device. Here are some others...
Stable and unstable irony helps to distinguish verbal ironies. Stable ironies are simply just the reverse of a statement. Usually used in a facetious manner. An un-stable irony never reaches a correct meaning and will remain that way. Making way for further confusion. It's used on purpose by some story writers. 
Dramatic Irony is found between the characters and the audience. A good example being the Greek tragedy Oedipus. The audience knows what's going to happen but the character doesn't.
Not all ironies come into focus at the same time. Sometimes they are ambiguous and multiple interpretations are required. Irony reminds us how difficult it is to make sense of the world and with the discrepencies between appearance and reality. 
If someone was looking down at you from above and narrating your story how ironic would it be in the telling? Remember, a narrator is not a god. How well do you understand your own life irony?
Here's a bit of cosmic irony: Never mind what we do or don't know up there in the Universe. What about the things we do or don't know about down here on the ground?





An authors mental model of the reader...

Language is part of it. Readers in English, in French, in German, etc.  

Images can break through the barrier of the spoken word; silent films are an excellent example. So are memes with a bit of text for emphasis. All of it works both ways. An audience reads an author; an good author does his best to read his audience.

Characteristics of an audience

Understanding the language, slang, dialect, and even regional communications are important. Rooting specific groups with their own jargon to the story limits the audience size. Plus it leaves it open to bias insertion. The use of juxtaposition is key to keep an audience interested; rivalries create tension.

The text gives you clues to understanding...

Authors fictionalize their audience. They look for abstract ideas to picture the audience. It's not like writing a letter or an email to someone. Some writers even write long stories just for one or two people. Like J.R.R. Tolkien: He wrote the Lord of the Rings for his children. Was he trying to teach his children something? Trying to change his 'audience'? Perhaps, even himself too. A good text constructs the ideal reader and gives both the author and audience a sort of reception and acceptance. A horizon of expectations is built up. How far can the reader and the author predict into the text? How far can you push it to make it a legitimate

What does the author intend?
What does the audience assume?
Can common sense be relabeled or even strengthened?

Grammatically reconfigure material on the fly. Sometimes a sentence, paragraph or story can be about one thing but can also be something entirely different. Speaking to more than one kind of audience; each with their own set of understanding the symbols. This has the effect of subtly changing the mood or direction by matching the grammar to include other groups into a wider audience. Poets do this well. Getting the audience to think one thing and then finding out it's another is a good example. Holding ideas in common is the idea here.

Finding the universal narratology.

The Reader or audience are not passive recipients. All audiences actively participate in making inferences of their own. Both author and audience project ahead and try to predict an outcome.

Pattern perception is important. Sometimes they can be pathetic fallacies. Sometimes not. Think Star Trek red shirts from the original series.






Posted 21 September 2018 - 01:55 PM

Good artists borrow, great artists steal.

A Layman's Guide to the Famous Concept of the Hermeneutic Circle

In the fields of philosophy and criticism, "hermeneutic circle" is a term that's often thrown around without much regard to what it is supposed to mean. A technical term with a rich history, "hermeneutic circle" refers to the constant movement between part and whole in any interpretation. This article traces the history of the term to help lend greater clarity to this confusing concept.



Kind of like baseball where stealing is actually legal and encouraged.

Review the complete topic (launches new window)

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