Forum Replies Created

  • Vik Rubenfeld
    Keymaster

    Class 3 will provide very actionable information on the topic of Act Structure!

    Vik Rubenfeld
    Keymaster

    You’re very welcome, Joe!

    Vik Rubenfeld
    Keymaster

    You’re off to an excellent start! I have received your Class I assignment and will be sending you input via email.

    Also, re: our Twitter conversation on foreshadowing, I have finished Heart of Darkness and am developing a blog post on this subject!

    Vik Rubenfeld
    Keymaster

    Here are a few potential options for your non-fiction protagonist:

    • First-person POV. I.e. use of the pronoun “I”.  E.g. “I needed to achieve sustainable farming.” “I had to find out if there was a way to do this.” etc. Tim Ferris, author of “The 4-Hour Body,” “The 4-Hour Workweek”, etc. uses this approach.
    • Omniscient narrator POV. E.g. your post above. “Current estimates are that there are 7 Billion of us … and soon by 2050 there will be 9 Billion of us … and current farming techniques cannot hope to keep up with the demand without destroying our world and sustainability as we know it today.” In this case your reader may implicitly be the protagonist, with you as guide. Inspired by you to seek a way to sustainably feed the world, they could follow you on a quest to find out if this is possible.

    In reply to: Drop-down menus for homework

    July 19, 2015 at 4:32 pm #2920
    Vik Rubenfeld
    Keymaster

    Could you update the drop-down menus to include TV scripts or long-form television?

    Added!

    And, for genre, thrillers? Thriller as a genre is distinct from mystery, which has a single goal (whodunit), whereas thrillers have multiple goals.

    These are excellent observations. For just the reasons you note, the list is carefully titled Styles, in order to distinguish it from a list of Genres. For example, Netflix calls out hundreds of Genres (Link). The Styles list focuses on the Author’s Goal, rather than Genre characteristics. In the case of the style, Mystery, the author’s goal is “to shock, frighten, and involve us in a puzzle to be solved. There are often creaking doors and dark stairways—and always startling twists of plot. Suspense is the main feature; the overall effect is like a rubber-band being stretched to the breaking point.” This appears to describe the work of Hitchcock well.

    Something in the Genre of Whodunit/Mystery/Detective story could be done in any of the given Styles!

    Does this satisfactorily answer your question? Please ask me any follow-up questions, and let me know if I can provide additional info.

    Vik Rubenfeld
    Keymaster

    Excellent. There’s your goal: to sustainably feed the world’s people. And the urgency of the goal:

    Current estimates are that there are 7 Billion of us … and soon by 2050 there will be 9 Billion of us … and current farming techniques cannot hope to keep up with the demand without destroying our world and sustainability as we know it today.

    In reply to: Issues with my plot

    October 23, 2014 at 3:33 pm #2291
    Vik Rubenfeld
    Keymaster

    I saw another great example of this this week- the new film, FURY, written by David Ayer. Don “Wardaddy” Collier is trying to make a soldier out of new crew member Norman Ellison. The BIG SUSPENSE HOOK is whether Norman’s sentiments about war will lead to his failing to do his duty, and to the death of Don and the rest of Don’s tank crew—a possibility that is dramatized early in the film when Norman’s failure to do his duty results in the destruction of a nearby tank and the death of its crew.

    FURY is an extremely well-written film.

    In reply to: Issues with my plot

    October 21, 2014 at 9:18 am #2285
    Vik Rubenfeld
    Keymaster

    Thanks so much for posting, Michele. This is a great question. You will be fine with this kind of antagonist. The way to approach it is to make sure the remaining characteristics of plot are satisfied.

    • The goal must be very hard to achieve.
    • The goal must be urgently needed by the character.
    • The goal must be opposed by an antagonist. (In this case the opposing army).
    • The goal must not be definitively won or lost until the end of the story.

    Here are examples for further discussion:

    • In MONUMENTS MEN, Frank Stokes wants to find and save the stolen works of art, specifically including the Ghent paintings.
    • In SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, John Miller hopes to find Private Ryan and return him to the U.S.
    • In THE PERFECT STORM, Capt. Billy Tyne needs to save his boat from sinking in order to save the lives of his men.
    • In SAVING NEMO, Marlin hopes to find his son Nemo and return him safely to their home.