Is this a game they play on this one night of the year when there were no rules?
“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus
Tuesday, 20 December 2016
Is this a game they play on this one night of the year when there were no rules?
Wednesday, 7 December 2016
|My crit partners Tania and Sheila (a crazy American!) are such fun, even though they're relentless in pursuit of plot and structure.|
- Meanwhile, I'm enjoying seeing the sights of Sydney and sampling the wines and great food in the Hunter Valley. I hope you're having fun, too. I'll come by and comment when I'm sober, LOL!
|Thanks to Olga Godim for creating the WEP badges.|
Friday, 25 November 2016
The Seven Basic Plots of storytelling...number one...Overcoming the Monster...comparing Jaws and Beowulf.
Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate this feast!
But I'm not talking turkey today, I'm sharing stories with you.
I've always been fascinated by the idea that out of all the stories in the world, there are only seven basic plots, or so they say. I recently found an excellent book by Christopher Booker called exactly that.
He maintains these seven basic plots are:
- Overcoming the Monster
- Rags to Riches
- The Quest
- Voyage & Return
Okay I've seen these called by other names, and the Hero's Journey by Joseph Campbell combines some, but Booker used interesting comparisons when he compared Steven Spielberg's Jaws with the ancient Beowulf tale...both examples of the Overcoming the Monster plot.
Here is a quick overview of the Jaws' plot (cue the Jaws theme...):
The peace of a little Long Island seaside resort is shattered by the arrival of a monstrous shark of almost supernatural power. For weeks, citizens are frightened and confused by the shark's savage attacks on one victim after another. When it gets too much to bear, the hero, local police chief Brody, sets out with two companions to do battle with the monster. In the climactic fight there is much severing of limbs and threshing about underwater before the shark is slain. The community comes together in jubilation. The threat has been lifted. Life in Amity can begin again.So, twentieth-century movie goers were gripped by this horror story as it unfolded on the screen. But how many noticed that the story had a lot in common with a smelly bunch of unkempt animal-skinned Saxon warriors gathered around the fire in a wattle-and-daub hall 1200 years earlier, listening to a minstrel chanting an epic poem.
This ancient poem has survived fire and humans and has been dissected by baffled students the world over. (I had to work my way through much bafflement as I taught this poem to my students.)
The first part of Beowulf tells of how the peace of a little seaside community of Heorot is shattered by the arrival of Grendel, a monster of almost supernatural power who lives in the depths of a nearby lake. The inhabitants of Heorot are frightened and confused as night after night, Grendel makes his mysterious attacks on the hall where they sleep, seizing one victim after another and tearing them to pieces. Finally, when the threat seems too much to bear, Beowulf sets out to do battle, first with Grendel, then with his even more terrifying monster mother. There is a tremendous climactic fight, with much severing of limbs and threshing about underwater, until both monsters are slain.Spot the similarities? Pretty obvious.
In terms of bare outline of plot, they tell the same story. Did the author of the modern book, Peter Benchley, steal the Beowulf plot? Hardly. Yet the fact remains that the two stories share a remarkably similar pattern, as do many others down the centuries. Beowulf's plot is basic and we still follow the structure today. It's a prime example of Overcoming the Monster, as is Jaws as so many others.
"Legends of the slaughter of a destructive monster are to be found all over the world. The thought underlying them all is that the monster slain is preternatural and hostile to mankind."
E.S. Hartland, The Legend of Perseus (1896)
- Thanks for coming by! I appreciate the time.
- Where does your genre fit into the seven basic plots?
- And the winner of the WEP October Halloween/Constellations challenge was Pat Hatt. Today he's over at WEP dishing out some writing advice. I'm sure you could learn something if you pop on over!
- And on December 1st, WEP announces the December challenge--
Wednesday, 16 November 2016
That author was N. R. Williams. The very generous author who provided the brilliant cover was Nicole McDonald.
Greetings fellow bloggers. Thank you for coming to visit and read my post. Denise has graciously asked me to write about my Halloween series and if I intend to continue publishing a book each October. I can’t really answer that without talking about what led me to develop the series in the first place. It is my hope that this post will inspire some of you.
Cover by Nicole McDonald
I released the first collection in 2015, and my second in 2016.
My question to you--how do you challenge yourself in your life?
N. R. Williams’s journey as a writer began in her formative years. Along the way to becoming a writer she found a voice in herself that couldn’t be silenced. N. R. Williams’s is a writer, a dreamer, a person who sees beyond the here and now and hopes for something better. Her stories evolve along with her characters often changing like the Colorado weather.
Nancy blogs HERE
Her AMAZON PAGE is HERE
Her first HALLOWEEN COLLECTION is HERE
Her TREASURES OF CARMELIDRIUM, my personal favourite, is HERE
- And seeing Nancy is struggling with marketing, I'm pointing you to a post by Chrys Fey on 100 Marketing Tips.
- Do you have some marketing tips to share? What's worked best for you?
Thursday, 10 November 2016
My life is a movable feast--in pictures. From Brisbane to Peregian Beach. Full time beach living, here I come!
Well, I don't know if anyone out there is blogging at the moment after the BIG NEWS of the AMERICAN ELECTION, but I'll try for some normalcy here. I spent the day glued to CNN and need some light relief, so decided I'd share some pics with you, nothing too deep and meaningful.
Some of you may have picked up that I've been living a split life for several years -- half a week in Brisbane teaching at the State Library of Queensland, living in an 1880's heritage-listed property, and half a week up at the beach, 100 kilometers (62 miles away) to a house we built and moved into on the night of the New Millenium...gah! 16 years ago!
As I say goodbye to permanent living in Brisbane, I took a few photographs to mark the move, and rattled around in my files for some more...
I'm grateful for Brisbane, a beautiful, friendly, laid-back city (hello Lynda Young!)
|The sun sets on my Brisbane sojourn!The State Library in the right hand corner.|
|Inside the State Library. My Library Cafe on right. Also a great bookshop.|
|View across the river to the city from my teaching room where I tutored students one-on-one.|
|Favourite muffin and coffee in the Library Cafe|
|Awesome walkways which are dripping with red bougainvilla each summer...at the South Bank|
|Each Remembrance Day, the Story Bridge is festooned with red poppies|
|My writers group working on characterisation at the Brisbane Markets|
|The Brisbane Writers Festival is held at the State Library. Author friend Charmaine Clancy and I liked to relax and have a drink after attending classes|
|Always media students acting out on the banks of the Brisbane River|
|Our Heritage Unit in West End. On the deck when Nas and Ragesh Dean came to stay|
|They built a huge artificial beach at South Bank many years ago. It's permanent. Well used on those balmy days and nights in summer|
The beach house needed extensive renovations as we've had it vacant for a time, rented it out as a holiday home and used it as a bolt hole occasionally, so the wear and tear was showing. It's a big house, so the renos have taken awhile--2 brand-new kitchen makeovers (upstairs and downstairs -- where we have made a private apartment for one of our daughters and which will become a Writers Retreat when she moves out), a new ensuite in a large downstairs bedroom, and the most exciting part--cutting off a little of the huge lounge/dining room for my own private writing room.
|View of the sunrise over the Pacific Ocean from my writing room every morning. Inspired? I should think so...|
|On the beach at Noosa on the Sunshine Coast|
|Fishing at Peregian Beach at sunset|
|Chilling on the beach at Noosa - hmm - melanoma territory!|
|Peregian Beach's Baked Poetry Cafe's special breed of iced coffee. They even make the ice cream in house. Never tasted better and that's saying something!|
|The inside of our beach house before renovations. The walls are now grey. More pics in future as Michael di Gesu has been begging!|
|My favourite spot at the beach house--sofa bed on the deck to read and think while I watch the whales frolic. They've been awesome this season!|
I hope you enjoyed my nostalgic journey through Brisbane and onto Peregian Beach. We'll be renting out the Brisbane unit. Can't bear to part with all that rustic gorgeousness yet! And I've kept a few students who I'll be tutoring online and occasionally meeting up with through 2017.
- How about you? Are you a beach or a city person?
- What's been your most momentous move/career change so far?
Wednesday, 2 November 2016
#IWSG post. Lynda Young tells us why she's moving to Brisbane (and it's not just to be nearer to me!)
The awesome co-hosts for Nov 2 IWSG are Joylene Novell Butler, Jen Chandler, Mary Aalgaard, Lisa Buie Collard, Tamara Narayan, Tyrean Martinson, and Christine Rains!
For something completely different, Denise asked me about my interstate move from Sydney to Brisbane. From comfortable New South Wales to hot, sunny Queensland. (Hello, Lynda!! I'm waiting!!)
How do I know it’s right? As a Christian, I lean on my God an awful lot and He lets me know if I’m on the right path. With this move He has opened doors and cleared the way and made things possible. We pretty much found our new place to live in Brisbane within a week of looking. I’m pretty sure that’s not normal.
Published by Freedom Fox Press
Tagline: Cling to God in the chaos of life…
Blurb: Cling to God is a book of devotionals for every day of the year. The aim is to encourage Christians in their faith, to help them think about their beliefs and learn more about God. The devotions are short and inspirational so that people with busy lifestyles will still be able to spend time with the Lord each day. It will appeal to a wide Christian audience, to those new in their faith as well as those matured beyond milk and honey.
Links in full:
- Have you lived in the same house for most/all of your life, or have you regularly embraced the moving adventure?
- If you've moved house, did things go well...or badly?
- What was your first reaction to your new house/town/city?
- If you're a believer, did you feel God was with you?