Short Month, Big Topic-- February Wrap-Up

For some reason, it felt like this month was shorter than the others.

Okay, it was.  It's February.  But that doesn't mean anything to your friendly neighborhood writing blog.  It was a small month, but it was a packed month, and while we didn't get to do everything we wanted to, we still accomplished a great deal.  The topic of the month, you'll remember, was structure.  It's a topic I enjoy, and I hope you gained a lot from it.  If you didn't, no worries-- you've got a whole wrap-up post before we move on.

The month begins with Black Widow.  The Hero's Journey monomyth is a creation of Joseph Campbell's, based on much research in legend and fable.  It boils down basically every tale ever into a standard arc.  It isn't meant to be a checklist for storytelling, but it's a nice point of interest and gives inspiration at times.

Hey, then there's me.  I posted about what I called genre-structures-- genres that are so iconic and individual that they demand their own structure, just to keep things tidy.  I only talked about the first two I could think of (and I left out a bunch of them), but I managed to go over heists and thrillers, which have become two of my favorite types of stories.

Thor time!  The god of thunder aptly posted about the most famous kind of structure (to my knowledge, at least): the story of three acts.  I had to do a quick movie marathon to figure out how Harry Potter worked with it (not that quick, actually-- it's takes like twenty hours to get through all those movies, not to mention the books).  However, I've seen the three act structure work before, and I can attest to its effect.  It's simple, easy to remember, and packs a huge punch.  Much like Thor himself.

Coulson: the man, the agent, the... romantic?  I guess so.  He walks us through romantic structure in a way that, I confess, I was unable to do in my genre-structure post.  (I have less experience than Coulson in the game of love, frankly; I didn't want to chance it.)  It's clear and concise in a way that romance usually isn't-- well worth the read.

Hey, deja vu-- that's me again.  I'm back to talk about how to apply all this wanton knowledge.  It's like a lot of other stuff: you learn a lot at once, and it takes a while for everything to click in.  Just be patient and you'll get it.  Structure is a really cool idea when you finally figure it out, but until then, you can only wait.  I'm still working on applying all these things to my writing, so I'll wait with you.

Did we expect to hit more?  Well, yes, we did.  We meant to host another Twitter chat like last month's, about structure this time, with the same #YAvengers tag.  But life hit all of us hard.  I had a lot of travel time to and from missions (great for post-writing and -scheduling, but terrible for a live chat), Stark had some injuries flare up (honestly, what he manages to live through astounds me-- go admire his alter ego now), and between assignments, tests, and [classified], everyone else was tied up.  We wish it weren't so-- we wish this job counted as extra credit with Fury and the other big boys-- but we do our best with what we've got.  It's only thanks to you, our brilliant and wonderful readers, that we get anywhere.  So thank you.  You are the most creative people we know.

We look forward to sharing a new (hopefully more productive) month with you!  We're talking about voice, mood, and style next month.  It's a huge, ambiguous topic, but we've got a lot of great ideas so far that we're eager to share.  It's going to be amazing.  So live, create, and write.  We'll see you soon.


P.S. If you're looking for more on structure, the Writing Excuses podcast is using March as their structure month.  (Copycats.)  Check out their latest episode, as well as weekly episodes all about that topic.  It's a great resource.

1 comment:

  1. The World Security Council thinks of this whole blog as a waste of time? Sacrilege! (Like Bucky would say, they're all idiots.)
    Also, if Harry Potter does not have a book with Harry dealing with the loss of/being unable to use his powers, it's not complete. (Losing control of his powers does not count.) I think it's extremely unrealistic to not show the protagonist going through a dry spell; we all have them. (There are things to be learned from Studio Ghibli--such as the fact that not even Kiki can fly all the time. Also, Ponyo went unconscious and had to make the conscious decision to let go of her powers--powerful story that.)