LEARNING > Writing Live Chat – My Writing HeroPosted by buddyscalera on April 24, 2020 at 5:28 am
Official thread to discuss our educational live chat event. “Story Circle: How to Craft a Plot That Keeps Your Readers HOOKED” hosted by Comic Book School Council Member Cathy Kirch of https://mywritinghero.com/.
DATE: Friday 4/24/2020
TIME: 8:00 – 9:30 EST
INVITE & DETAILS: https://calendar.google.com/event?action=TEMPLATE&tmeid=NnIyNnFjNzVkcmg2dGJ0NG4ycjduamphZDggN2N0OGRsajBrNWE4ZWFjbGt0cXZuaHVxcjhAZw&tmsrc=7ct8dlj0k5a8eaclktqvnhuqr8%40group.calendar.google.com
You will be able to ask questions and make comments in this forum, which will be moderated by @mywritinghero.
MemberApril 24, 2020 at 9:13 pm
@Kpei137 I’m of the mind that you come up with the title when you come up with the title.
No two writers’ processes are exactly alike, at least in my observation. For me, I tend to come up with a title after I’ve been working on a piece for a while, as it usually draws on a particular line or concept that only comes up after I’ve been drafting. But I also know other writers who use the title as a springboard into an idea – for them, the title comes before just about anything else.
It’s useful to keep in mind that you only really need a title when you’re sharing a finished product with other people, so it’s okay if you don’t have one (or if you have a “working title”) right away. Sometimes it’s fun to share a draft with readers and brainstorm ideas for titles with them, too! But if you find it useful to have a title to build momentum on a project, there’s nothing wrong with that, either. The most important thing, to me as a writer, is not letting one detail keep me from writing – I know that I can always come back and change things later.
Does that help?
MemberApril 24, 2020 at 9:23 pm
I’m really excited about tonight’s workshop!
Here is a link to a short guide on the Story Circle: https://bit.ly/story-circle-guide
Once you enter your info, you’ll get the PDF in an email. (You’ll also be subscribed to the My Writing Hero newsletter, where I share other writing tips/advice/inspiration, but you can of course unsubscribe at any time!). You may find it useful to download the guide before the workshop, but don’t worry if you don’t get a chance to do so. If you have any issues getting the guide, please let me know!
In the meantime, please feel free to post any questions you have about plotting (can be related to the story circle or not). I’d also love to hear where you’re at in your plot creation so I can tailor the workshop to what folks are working on right now!
ModeratorApril 24, 2020 at 9:49 pm
@mywritinghero this does help because I have been stuck on a title for the longest time but I guess I should write the story first and then see if there is a recurring theme and then base the title off of that recurring theme. thanks for the advice
ModeratorApril 25, 2020 at 5:40 am
Here’s that playlist, Trope Talks, that I mentioned in the chat: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDb22nlVXGgcljcdyDk80bBDXGyeZjZ5e
- This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by artsmermaid.
MemberApril 25, 2020 at 7:00 am
Thank you so much for joining me for tonight’s workshop!
Here is a link to the slides: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/16qwuN0OUuRkjuq5OrCa0SKOr1eyqGo-gqAT25mYx5wE/edit?usp=sharing
The link is view only, so feel free to “make a copy” and save it into your own drive. This probably goes without saying, but please do not distribute this slide deck widely without asking. 🙂
If you want this in a more digestible size and format, here’s the link to the pdf guide again: https://bit.ly/story-circle-guide
I’ll be posting the link/time for our first “office hour” soon, but in the meantime: What did you take away from the workshop? I’d love to hear what you’re working on!
MemberApril 25, 2020 at 7:38 am
Thank you Cathy for your presentation. I found it quite informative!
I went back and matched up my plot with your story circle, and I was pleased to discover that it matches up perfectly! -Right down to each page fitting in to each point of the circle exactly!
I will now go on to do that exercise you supplied.
MemberApril 26, 2020 at 6:10 am
@Jarrod Elvin Awesome!! I’m guessing you were somewhat “inspired” by current events? 😉 Although space virus sounds a lot cooler than what we’ve got.
Excited to see what you find with the exercise – I bet there could be some rad visual parallels with this story.
ModeratorApril 26, 2020 at 10:57 am
Thank you again, Cathy a.k.a. @mywritinghero!
What did you take away from the workshop?
The importance of “Keeping It Simple”:
I always found myself trapped in the proverbial, ENDLESS sandbox.
You helped me remember that through structure comes freedom.
Again, appreciate the resources and look forward to seeing ya ’round the schoolyard!
ModeratorApril 26, 2020 at 8:10 pm
Thank you Cathy @mywritinghero
One issue that came up during the session was non-linear stories like Pulp Fiction. Here is a video that explains how Pulp Fiction fits the Campbell archetype. The terminology is a bit different since it uses Campbell, not Harmon, but both archetypes use the circle, and the Harmon circle is based off Campbell.
ModeratorApril 26, 2020 at 8:15 pm
Also, apropos to the discussion of tragedy and tragic endings, here is the worksheet on Classical Tragedy that I use with my classes. It is based on Aristotle’s poetics. You will notice that the there are clear reflections in the various stages, for example the fall is directly caused by the Hamartia, and the anagnorisis (or recognition) is where the growth occurs, but it happens too late to change the outcome.
ModeratorApril 26, 2020 at 8:18 pm
@mywritinghero, to answer your question, my biggest takeaway was the idea of actually folding the paper in half to see the parallels between the various stages. I like that idea a lot, and definitely am going to use it both in my own practice and in the writing classes that I teach.
ModeratorApril 26, 2020 at 8:34 pm
Thank you both, Cathy and AA Rubin for all these great resources. Much appreciating your giving us such amazing direction. I’ll use both to edit my writings for today’s deadline. We have until 11:59 pm, right?
ModeratorApril 26, 2020 at 11:21 pm
I missed the live workshop, but I got a hold of all the materials and wanted to thank you for the knowledge! Sorry, I missed it, but your slideshow and info packets are great descriptors and very nicely put together. Thanks again!
ModeratorApril 26, 2020 at 11:50 pm
A question for everyone…
As it pertains to this Circle Story method of analysis/writing/plotting, is the reader more inclined to be invested in the STORY or the (main) character(s)? Personally, I’m more invested in seeing how a story plays out and I know that I’ll ENJOY it more if the characters are solid. I also think that if the story sucks in the first place, it doesn’t matter how amazing characters are, I’m probably not going to like it (which I believe explains my dislike of sit-coms). However, I feel that most people nowadays are the opposite and my reason for this is due to the fact that most (American) audiences can’t handle the sad/tragic ending anymore.
If the character goes through their arc following the method stated (circle), but the overall story doesn’t have a “pleasing” ending (hero wins/saves the day) I’ve found that many people are not fans of the story overall.
What are everyone’s thoughts?
(If you can’t tell from my own plot, I have zero problem with the unhappy ending)
ModeratorApril 27, 2020 at 4:28 am
@KrisBurgos I think that it depends on the audience you’re looking for. Some of the most enduring, most popular stories in the world are tragedies–Oedipus, Hamlet (and Lear, Othello, Macbeth, R&J), The Great Gatsby, etc. These stories work because the payoff in the tragic structure is earned through the hamatria-peripeteia–anagnoris framework, and the fear/pity catharsis.
Some of the best literature in the world, especially as we get into the second half of the 20th century features ambiguous endings–Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison comes to mind. Catch 22 is another example. These books have passionate audiences and they have stood the test of time.
In terms of mainstream comics you don’t see it as much. It’s really hard to kill off an iconic character like Batman, and even when they do, we all know that character is coming back eventually. I think you see it more in indie and creator owned comics, where you can do a limited run with a real ending–especially a different.
Now, as for what you’re doing, I think the tragic ending works very well since your story is Norse-based. Norse mythology has the concept of Doom hanging over everything. No matter what victories the forces of good win, they are still doomed to be destroyed in Ragnarok in the end. Virtue is acting good in the face of inevitable evil. Tolkien, to take one very example, wrote an academic paper during his professor days where he argued that doom was the most powerful element in literature–or should be. He admitted that in most of Western literature Hamartia is the key element, but he preferred doom. Either way, they are both tragic outcomes. (Tolkien also translated Beowulf, which is a story that synthesizes the Norse concept of Doom with the Christian concept of sacrifice. Beowulf goes into the final battle with the dragon knowing he will lose, but his death saves the people (like Jesus, but more Viking Machismo.)
Since your story is Norse-based, having a doomed hero who stays true to his principles regardless of his tragic situation fits very nicely. They key (returning to Aristotle) is to affect a characterization where the reader identifies with the main character enough to evoke that catharsis.
Personally, I hope you go through with the tragic story. I would love to see some diversity in the types of stories in this anthology.