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10:40 am: Yet More Book Reviews


Date:December 14th, 2007 07:53 pm (UTC)

.. why are the popular story strictures a good thing?

I beg of you (or *someone*, at least) to answer this:

Why are the tried and true methods of story strictures a GOOD thing?

I was reading Jim Butcher's description of stuff (dramatic reversal, resolution, etcetera), only to face an unconscious mental scream:


If I know someone's going to fail at something because it's helpful to the plotline, it tends to deep-six my enjoyment (or immersion) into a book. Ditto if I know there's a "good" and "bad" choice, in the sense that one brings Universal Love and Redemption and the other would cement their status as a failed failure left failing behind. My biggest issue was with this:

"The result of the conflict is *always* a SETBACK of one kind or another (also thought of as the SCENE ANSWER)--at least, until you get to the end of the book."

ARGH! Can someone give me some kind of reason why any of these rules could ever be anything but terrible?
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Date:December 15th, 2007 03:53 pm (UTC)

Re: .. why are the popular story strictures a good thing?

I think that's a case where it's at least valuable to know what the "rules" of the novels written around you are. The same way that if you assume you know what fantasy's like without reading any fantasy, you won't write very good fantasy novels.

But I didn't say anywhere that these story structures are intrinsically good. What I've ranted about are cases where people tried to deviate from them and ended up producing sub-standard work- like deciding they'd have an "open ending" but writing something that made no sense and had no consistency with the previous work.
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