Fictional Worlds II: Dramatic Characters & Dramatic Action (Storytelling on Screen)

Fictional Worlds II:  Dramatic Characters &  Dramatic Action (Storytelling on Screen)

English | May 2, 2014 | ASIN: B00K3GY26Y | 173 Pages | AZW3 | 0.34 MB

Following the adventures of Fictional Worlds I: The Symbolic Journey & The Genres System, the next part, Fictional Worlds II: Dramatic Characters & Dramatic Action, crosses into the realm of drama. A guide to dramatic structure and for writing an effective screenplay, Dramatic Characters & Dramatic Action is the second installment in the four-part set. (The set is also available as a print version Fictional Worlds: Traditions in Narrative and the Age of Visual Culture, which has all four books under one cover). The other two books are: Fictional Worlds III: Tragedy & Mystery and Fictional Worlds IV: Comedy & the Extraordinary; which includes the Conclusion to the four books, titled "The Future of Storytelling: Homer and Hamlet on the Holodeck."

Fictional Worlds II explores many critical issues in drama and rarely clarified questions of what makes an effective screenplay. What is the Aristotelian "astonishment" factor and how to keep the audience on the edge of their seats? What does the dramatic arc have in common with the action-adventure formula of the Hero's Journey? What are the key "thresholds" in the dramatic story? Is there a place for our tears and joy in the very structure of the dramatic arc and its "rise and fall" curve? Should the dramatic arc be suspenseful or uplifting? Can it be both? How to embed the desired psychological experiences for the audience, or "program" the emotional scenario of your play?

This volume demonstrates how to build tension, develop conflict, and create unforeseen obstacles. It illustrates how to design compelling characters and effective dramatic composition. Fictional Worlds II examines how to generate the forces of dramatic action embodied in heroes, villains and victims. The situations of deception, from playfully innocent to cruel and deadly, are a subject of any drama. What is the "Grey Wolf Effect" and why is it crucial for drama, particularly, for crime drama? What about tracing characters' innocent mistakes, reckless missteps, and calculated trickery, which together affect the balance of the storyworld, and lead toward unpredictable results? Importantly, how to design inspiring dramatic resolutions, with story twists, unexpected endings, revelations of the hidden truth, and the empowering relief of catharsis?

Among the book's numerous subjects, techniques and ideas, you will find tips on how to build your own "troupe." A story-specific cast of characters perfectly suited for a particular genre will make the play compelling. The protagonist's "wants" and "needs" move action forward; what one may possibly desire and try to achieve in a story? The book discusses how to trace a "story purpose," offering a list of the hero's "story goals," which a writer may effectively employ in time-tested or novel combinations. What is hidden in the core dramatic moment, and where is the "heart of the story"? Why are the "Rule of the Three Cs" and the Butterfly Effect vital to emerging dramas? How early in dramatic conflict can the heroes and audience predict the consequences of possible choices, and how far can we trace them into this fictional world's future? Case studies include 12 Angry Men, The Piano, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Each of the books in the Fictional Worlds set is self-sufficient, has its own focus, and can be read independently. Yet each subject is profoundly understood as part of a cultural system when the four books are studied in sequence. The connections reveal themselves in full when traced through: the symbolic construction of community; the genre system; the Hero's Journey; the dramatic structure; the cultural roles of tragedy and mystery with the allied forms of crime drama and film noir; as well as the transformative power of comedy and realistic stories about ordinary people, especially when viewed through the "extraordinary" lens of poetics.


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