Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Guidelines to Fiction

When we get an idea that's when we have to start working with the guidelines of friction to get our story out and be told.

Me, personally, only do a little in the beginning.

Like: characters, place, time, plot, etc.... I try not to go to much into detail in the beginning. It feels sometimes like I'm spoiling it for myself. I don't know, am I the only who feels that way?

Anyways, here are some things that may help the writing process of fiction, the simple stuff I do before hand, there's more things to learn that I didn't post so you can look at them here. These are just the things I begin with.

Plot, is what the character(s) did, said, and thought. It is the Action Proper given unity by the Enveloping Action, the Universal Action, the Archetypal Action. As Aristotle said, What gives a story unity is not as the masses believe that it is about one person but that it is about one action. Plot, or storyline, is often listed as one of the fundamental elements of fiction.

It is the rendering and ordering of the events and actions of a story. On a micro level, plot consists of action and reaction, also referred to as stimulus and response. On a macro level, plot has a beginning, a middle, and an ending. Plot is often depicted as an arc with a zig-zag line to represent the rise and fall of action. Plot also has a mid-level structure: scene and summary. A scene is a unit of drama—where the action occurs. Then, after a transition of some sort, comes the summary—an emotional reaction and regrouping, an aftermath.

Characterization is often listed as one of the fundamental elements of fiction. A character is a participant in the story, and is usually a person, but may be any personal identity, or entity whose existence originates from a fictional work or performance.
Characters may be of several types:
  • Point-of-view character: The character from whose perspective (theme) the audience experiences the story. This is the character that represents the point of view the audience will empathise, or at the very least, sympathise with. Therefore this is the "Main" Character.
  • Protagonist: The driver of the action of the story and therefore responsible for achieving the story's Objective Story Goal (the surface journey). In western storytelling tradition the Protagonist is usually the Main Character.
  • Antagonist: The character that stands in opposition to the protagonist.
  • Static character: A character who does not significantly change during the course of a story.
  • Dynamic character: A character who undergoes character development during the course of a story.
  • Foil: The character that contrasts to the protagonist in a way that illuminates their personality or characteristic.
  • Supporting character: A character that plays a part in the plot, but is not major
  • Minor character: A character in a bit/cameo part.

Methods of developing characters

  • Appearance: explains or describes the character's outward appearance for the readers to be able to identify them
  • Dialogue: what they say and how they say it
  • Action: what the character does and how he/she does it
  • Reaction of others: how other characters see and treat him/her
Types of conflict

There are five basic types of conflict. In ancient cultures Person vs. Fate often constitute the conflict of the story; however, so many people today believe they are in charge of their own destiny that few stories of this ilk can be found. In modern times, Person vs. Machine, also known as Person vs. Technology, has become another one.[2]

Person vs. Self is the theme in literature that places a character against their own will, confusion, or fears. Person vs. Self can also be where a character tries to find out who they are or comes to a realization or a change in character. Although the struggle is internal, the character can be influenced by external forces. The struggle of the human being to come to a decision is the basis of Person vs. Self. Examples include the titular character of Beowulf. More recently, the Academy Award winning movie A Beautiful Mind has been posited as an application of Person vs. Self. Faulkner in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech noted that the great stories are those of the human heart in conflict with itself. With that in mind the other conflicts enumerated here can fade into the background as part of the setting rather than the conflict-in-itself of any given story. A simple, ready example may be Jack London's "To Build a Fire" wherein we can see that the conflict is not Man vs. Nature but Man vs. His Own Nature.

Person vs. Person is a theme in literature in which the main character's conflict with another person is the focus of the story. An example is the hero's conflicts with the central villain of a work, which may play a large role in the plot and contribute to the development of both characters. There are usually several confrontations before the climax is reached.

Person vs. Society is a theme in fiction in which a main character's, or group of main characters', main source of conflict is social traditions or concepts. In this sense, the two parties are: a) the protagonist(s); b) the society of which the protagonist(s) are included. Society itself is often looked at as a single character, just as an opposing party would be looked at in a Person vs. Person conflict.This can also be one protagonist against a group or society of antagonists or society led by some antagonistic force
Person vs. Nature is the theme in literature that places a character against forces of nature. Many disaster films focus on this theme, which is predominant within many survival stories. It is also strong in stories about struggling for survival in remote locales

Person vs. Supernatural is a theme in literature that places a character against supernatural forces. When an entity is in conflict with him-, her-, or itself, the conflict is categorized as internal, otherwise, it is external. Such stories are often seen in Freudian Criticism as representations of id vs. superego. Bram Stoker's Dracula is a good example of this, as well as Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and Christabel by Samuel Coleridge. It is also very common in comic books.

Person vs. Machine/Technology places a character against robot forces with "artificial intelligence". I, Robot (the film) and the Terminator series are good examples of this conflict.

Types of prose fiction:
  • Flash fiction: A work of fewer than 2,000 words. (1,000 by some definitions) (around 5 pages)
  • Short story: A work of at least 2,000 words but under 7,500 words. (5–25 pages)
  • Novelette: A work of at least 7,500 words but under 17,500 words. (25–60 pages)
  • Novella: A work of at least 17,500 words but under 50,000 words. (60–170 pages)
  • Novel: A work of 50,000 words or more. (about 170+ pages)
  • Epic: A work of 200,000 words or more. (about 680+ pages)

Enjoy! Hope this helps any inspiring authors out there.....

No comments:

Post a Comment