Journal – Week 8

Okay okay. . .I’m really excited because I’ve actually made some progress in this story, and instead of writing about writing it, I want to take this opportunity to actually talk about what its shaping up to be.

Also, I’ve settled on a title. With the story centering around themes of the interplay between self-perceived and societally-perceived identities, I’ve gone with a simple one.

‘Unchosen’

After accidentally killing the God of War in a heist-gone-wrong (seriously, who even knew they could die?!) Kithna is hunted by the priest of pretty much every remaining god. After all, its not really in their best interests to have the knowledge of their mortality free to roam the human world. 

Except for one. The Lady, as she seems to be known, can’t be a god – the (former) immortals are known as the Brotherhood for a reason – but she clearly isn’t human either. What is far less clear is what she is trying to achieve, why she is offering to help Kithna, and whether Kithna will accept that help, or stick to her tried and true modus operandi – running as though her life depended on it. Which, if the Brotherhood keep at it, it does.

 

Anyhoo, without any futher preamble, here’s the journal entry (even if its almost a week late. . sorry)!

Journal – Week 8

One of the biggest struggles I’ve had over the course as a whole is my tendency to write long. I naturally want to write a 100k, or at least part of a novel-length story. I’ve noticed that this tendency is coming out quite a bit in my current story and with the readings focusing on delivering the promise, this has highlighted a problem with my structure. Basically in its current form, the story is setting up to deliver in about fifty chapters time. What I need is it to deliver within the parameters of the assignment.

Using the elements suggested by Kress of the characters, conflicts, problems, and tensions(2011, p. 47), I think there is a reasonably simple solution that both fulfills the requirements of the assignment as well as that horrible nagging internal voice that wants the series of novels to spill onto the page. That is, by setting this up as a stand-alone short story (requirement of the assignment) while structuring it simultaneously as a first act (Whitcomb, 1999). In the same way that the prologue to Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World reads as both its own story and a setup for the series, my artefact will be a self-contained story concluding at the second scene involving the protagonist and deuteragonist facing the same problem as the beginning, but with the context changing around them demanding a change in their views and response. In that sense, to make it a story in and of itself, there needs to be significant transformation usually not found in the first act (James, 2011).

This also means I have to clarify the promise made – at this stage it isn’t clear and needs some editing anyway, so this fits nicely with the current state. What else fits is that the whole artefact promises a larger world and conflict, and is leading nicely to delivering on the possibility of it. Considering the initial  position of the protagonist as one who has rejected (and been rejected) by the world, wishes it was different, but refuses to act to change it, I’ve decided the initial promise will be focused on her willingness to change it. I haven’t got it exactly yet, but something along the lines of providing a world-changing event caused by the protagonist with be the promise, with the acceptance of that role in guiding it (which will change both the identities of both society and individual) as the as the short story promise, and the potential for a greater, more existential conflict as the promise for the continued novel.

Its getting late to make big structural changes, but I think this fits nicely with what I have, and will be able to be editing in to add layers, rather than redirecting the story in a major way.

 

 

References

 

James, Steven, 2011. ‘Story trumps structure: forget three-act structures, formulas for plot, and even beginnings, middles and ends. Write better stories by propelling your protagonist through a transformation your readers will never forget.(WRITE BETTER)’, Writer’s Digest, vol 91, no. 2, p.36, viewed 10 May 2020, https://go-gale-com.ezproxy.cqu.edu.au/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA284015242&v=2.1&u=cqu&it=r&p=AONE&sw=w

Kress, N 2011, ‘Satisfying Endings: Delivering on the Promise’, in Elements of Fiction Writing – Beginnings, Middles & Ends, pp. 47 – 61, Writer’s Digest Books, Cincinnati, Ohio, viewed 09 May 2020, http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=cookie,ip,sso&db=nlebk &AN=4182 70&site=ehost-live&authtype=sso&custid=s3716178&ebv=EK&ppid=Page-__-47

Whitcomb, C 1999, ‘Conquering the three-act structure’,. Writer’s Digest, vol 78, no. 4, viewed 10 May 2020 from https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.cqu.edu.au/apps/doc/A54239278/AONE?u=cqu&sid=AONE&xid=168a2fce

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