15 August 2011

2 Major Story Settings

Stories generally have at least two major settings.

A story is about a character transformed over time in a meaningful way by the dramatic action. In order to make this character transformation more dramatic, writers convey who the character is within the safety of a world that is familiar to her or at least not as threatening as the next world or setting she is thrust into. The reader meets the protagonist in her usual environment and defines the beginning quarter of the story.

The heart of the story begins the moment the protagonist leaves her ordinary world. Upon entering the middle of the story world, the protagonist is confronted with the second setting: a new and exotic world. The more unusual the new world is in its surroundings, mind-set, and demands upon the protagonist, the more unusual are her experiences, explorations, endurance, and quest for survival.

The exotic world itself creates tension, conflict, and suspense merely by its unfamiliarity to the protagonist; thus, it produces a sense of overarching tension. As well, in the new world, the old rules with which the protagonist is familiar and the beliefs she grew up with no longer apply.

As in real life, in stories when one door closes another opens. The protagonist enters a new world, be it a new physical place or a new psychological state. This new world offers the opportunity to evolve and be transformed.

Writers experience this exotic new world when they move from dabbling and talking about their story to actually writing everyday.

Click on green highlighted plot concepts for further explanations via video. Each time a concept is referenced you are directed to new information about the Universal Story and writing a novel, memoir or screenplay.

Visit Plot Series: How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay? on YouTube. A directory of all the steps to the series is to the right of this post. Enjoy!

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