Week 3

The 90-Day Novel's weekly class summaries with homework.

Week 3

Postby admin » Mon May 15, 2017 12:56 pm

1) Write a three-page outline with a beginning, middle and end.
2) Continue to imagine the world of your story, getting more specific with characters, scenes, and tracking your hero’s want through the plot points.
3) Lastly, write a one-page synopsis of your story. This synopsis should explain what the protagonist wants, and track the story in a way that identifies the major story points. Proportion the story roughly as follows: a quarter of a page for Act One, half a page for Act Two and a quarter of a page for Act Three.

There are no ‘rules’ to novel writing. Our novel may have multiple protagonists, be a series of loosely connected short stories, be told in the second person, or narrated by a sock puppet. We are always ‘reflecting’ the human experience, even if the story is about a bunch of animals on a farm.

Story structure at its most basic involves desire, surrender and transformation.

Story structure is a way of holding our characters accountable to universal truths.

Story structure invites our unconscious to organize all of our disparate ideas into a coherent narrative without having to sacrifice anything essential.

Credo exercise: whatever we ‘feel’ strongly about is necessarily subject, meaning that it has an opposing argument. Frame what you feel strongly about as a statement, and then, be curious about the opposing argument.

The desire to write is connected to the desire to evolve; therefore, as we explore the opposing argument, we are led to deeper truths about the fundamental conflict in our story.

All of our characters constellate around this conflict.

A transformation simply means a ‘shift in perception.’

Transformation cannot happen without a powerful opposition (story is alchemy – we only transform through great pressure.)

Imagining our hero transformed invites up a goldmine of images for what precedes the climax of our story.

The climax (or ‘battle scene’) is the moment where our hero makes a new choice.

The ‘choice’ that reveals this ‘shift in perception’ is likely connected to our hero’s want and need colliding. Eg: I want love, I need to love myself. The new choice may mean that our hero, as a result of valuing himself, chooses to be in a relationship that is reciprocal.

Our antagonists are not necessarily villains. An antagonist could be our hero’s dearest friend. An antagonist is any character that stands in the way of the ruthlessly onrushing protagonist. Let go of judgments with characters.

Our protagonist and antagonist both want the same thing.

Dilemma: This is where the tension lies in our story. It is through our hero accepting the reality of his situation that the dilemma can be resolved by a shift in perception.

Let’s be willing to explore possible ‘blind alleys’. Meaning, we don’t ever settle for our ‘idea’ of our story. Let’s explore the possibility of something ‘beyond’ the ‘idea’ even if it threatens to collapse our story. In doing this, we may discover new possibilities that not only don’t collapse our story, but rather, reinforce what we are expressing.
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