Happy New Year! Another year of storytelling is at my back and another year of storytelling possibilities stretches out in front of me. Which is a good thing. Mostly. As you may be aware, holiday celebrations can bring up strong emotions. And for me, New Years is an annual review where I suddenly discount accomplishments (new home! new baby!) and focus on projects left incomplete … Continue reading Time and Creativity
This time of year is filled to the brim with celebration and ritual. There are holiday parties, special foods, and time spent with family. The holidays evoke feelsings of nostalgia, joy, and (for many, a huge amount of) anxiety. True. But how does that help with writing? The holidays provide rich sensory experiences and extreme emotions that are just ripe to be stolen borrowed for … Continue reading Celebration In Story
If you are a visual person like myself, please enjoy this cheat sheet I made based on the insightful book on story structure by Larry Brooks. Brooks Handout Continue reading “Story Engineering” by Larry Brooks
The origin story of the phrase “the hero’s journey” comes from Joseph Campbell’s work and his book “A Hero with a Thousand Faces”. Campbell took a look at myths and stories across many different cultures and throughout history for similarities. It brings forward questions like: What makes a story a story? and What makes stories so important to humans? Campbell has been a conscious influence on everything from “Star Wars” to “Community”, and a subconscious influence on countless others.
His work is basically, exactly my jam. These are the questions I ponder and struggle with and argue about with friends and loved ones.
His work is used as a kind of writer’s 101. When you’re stuck, or the story isn’t working, or you don’t know what should happen next, check your story against the framework of “The Hero’s Journey”.
The thing is, I worry that some heroes are left out of this model. Like maybe the heroes from my stories? Continue reading “Does The Hero’s Journey Limit Heroism?”
Where I try to pin down what exactly everyone means by “story”. Continue reading Defining Story
The past few weeks I have been doing a self-imposed crash course in story structure. I have read Story Engineering by Larry Brooks and The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne, and I’ve been desperate for a way to apply all that I’ve learned. Continue reading “Guardians of the Galaxy: A Structure Case Study”
You know when you escape a painful conversation, and you turn to your co-worker/ lover / cat and say with an eye roll- “That person was trying to tell me their life story!”
It is understood that life stories are boring. Continue reading “Leave Them Wanting More”
Persuasion by Jane Austen is a delight. I pick it apart and put it back together three ways. Continue reading Persuasion Infographics