Here’s what we want to accomplish this week.
- Select the genre of your novel
- Explicitly identify “what’s cool” for your specific type of story
- Memorize the key parts of the story model
Discovery questions & activities
Question 1: What do stories do? (2 hrs)
Please answer these questions.
- What are the parts of the experience of novels that I love?
- What are the parts of the experience of the genre that I love?
- What is the experience I will attempt to deliver?
- What types of things do I not feel compelled to deliver?
Activities to help you.
- Read Lesson 1: What in the crap are we doing?
- Generate Boom List (see instructions below)
- Discuss ideas with buddy and identify how your lists vary
- Post your answers to the questions above and your Boom List in the comment section.
Question 2: How does story generate those effects? (8-10 hrs)
Please sketch an answer these questions:
- What are the parts of story?
- What leads us to get behind a main character?
- What makes a character likable or deserving?
- What makes characters interesting?
- What makes us feel suspense–hope and fear–for a character?
- What makes us feel triumph?
- What makes us feel puzzlement and curiosity?
- What makes us feel insight?
- What is the difference between a guided experience and real life? What’s the same?
Activities to help you.
- Read Lesson 2: How in the world does that work?, including the 27-part series that it links to. At the end of Part 16, you’ll see links to an Alfred Hitchcock interview that are broken. Use this link instead. Here’s the “The Enjoyment of Fear” article as well.
- Discuss with your buddy any new insights and questions (or even disagreements) you have with the model
- Post in the comments
- A brief summary of your answer to 2 of questions 2-9 above
- Anything you feel is important that the model doesn’t capture
- One new insight you had during the week. The insight can be something you learned from the model or that you saw on your own or found elsewhere in this week’s study.
- Memorize items on test guide
- Take test
Instructions for Generating Your Boom List
- Select the genre of the novel you’ll write for this course (you can change later; if you do, you’ll need to create another Boom List)
- Identify 10 stories in that genre that you like
- List “what’s cool?” for you in each of those stories, then identify the elements that you found more than once
- Identify another very different genre. List what’s different between the two genres. (Using a foil should help key delights stand out.)
- Write up your Boom List. This is a summary of the story you want to read–all the things you love in that type of story.
The test will ask you to recall the following. Please make sure you can do it from memory without the help of any material. One easy way will be to take notes as you read, then quiz yourself to help them stick.
- The effects this model helps us understand (Rooting, Suspense, Anticipation, Mystery)
- The definition of each part of MC MOTHR CAR
- 2 examples of each type of MOTHR
- 4 problem intensifiers
- 2 things that create uncertainty
- 3 things that lead us to feel sympathy for people
- 5 things that lead us to feel people are likeable & deserving and 5 that make us feel the opposite
- 10 things that lead us to be interested in a character
- The first principle of plot
- 5 ways to put the character at a disadvantage
- 5 types of conflict with two examples of each
- 5 examples of growing troubles & surprises
- All the parts of the Story Cycle (I will ask you to reproduce it)
- The 3 phases or parts
- 2 of the things you have to do in each phase to create the experience for the reader
- 3 reasons why the MC can’t or won’t walk away from the problem with 2 examples of each
- 3 things that lead the MC to the final showdown with 2 examples of each
- One reason we might give the preparation and approach in the resolution stage time
- Definition of a character dilemma with 2 examples