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To everyone who joined these forums at some point, and got discouraged by the negativity and left after a while (or even got literally scared off): I'm sorry.

I wasn't good enough at encouraging people to be kinder, and removing people who refuse to be kind. Encouraging people is hard, and removing people creates conflict, and I hate conflict... so that's why I wasn't better at it.

I was a very, very sensitive teen. The atmosphere of this forum as it is now, if it had existed in 1996, would probably have upset me far more than it would have helped.

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"Creative" writing
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craxyguy562 Offline
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Post: #1
"Creative" writing

When I first started creating writing I was excited. I thought for once I could throw away all those stupid thinking maps and prompts and write whatever I wanted to without any limits, but sadly I was wrong even creative writing wasn't that creative. We could only write about what the teacher told us to write about and use characters that the teacher told us to use which really kills the creativity. On top of that the things the teacher told us to write about were pretty dull.

First we had to write about a character that was a random person cut from some random magazine in a setting randomly cut from a random magazine too. (Though even under those circumstances I still managed to write a pretty good story.Fu)

Than we had to cut stuff out of a magazine and make a character out of it and write a story about the character, also the character we made had to be the main character

Right now were doing a hero journey. We have to make a cliché hero and put them on a cliché journey.

Bored

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02-15-2014 01:27 PM
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James Comey Away
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Post: #2
RE: "Creative" writing

I remember I wanted to sign up for creative writing but the teachers suggested I not take it, for reasons unknown. It probably would've been a load of bull.

I instead decided to follow their advice and take Graphic Arts, a decision I am regretting massively. I don't like the assignments, the teacher encourages us to be creative but I feel most of the time my creativity is dying, and most of the time I'm just wasting my time on the interwebz listening to music, occasionally doing my work to give the illusion I care about the class (I got caught doing ma' thang today, lost participation points, proceeded not to care).

I hear you though, these "creative" classes are oftentimes the opposite, I.e. with the sometimes rigid rules on what you can and cannot write. Imagine a true creative class that allowed you to write whatever you wanted and had all the info. Not in school.

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02-15-2014 01:34 PM
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xcriteria Offline
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RE: "Creative" writing

Yeah.
(02-15-2014 01:27 PM)crazyguy562 Wrote:  Right now were doing a hero journey. We have to make a cliché hero and put them on a cliché journey.

Bored

Subvert it. Make the journey escaping from the oppressive creative writing class you're in...

How tightly are you bound to the cliche?

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02-15-2014 03:38 PM
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craxyguy562 Offline
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Post: #4
RE: "Creative" writing

(02-15-2014 03:38 PM)xcriteria Wrote:  Yeah.
(02-15-2014 01:27 PM)crazyguy562 Wrote:  Right now were doing a hero journey. We have to make a cliché hero and put them on a cliché journey.

Bored

Subvert it. Make the journey escaping from the oppressive creative writing class you're in...

How tightly are you bound to the cliche?

She made a flow map of the plot we have to use.

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02-15-2014 03:42 PM
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Post: #5
"Creative" writing

Perhaps use them in unconventional ways. Look up alternative definitions and tell the teacher you weren't aware.

RIP GWEDIN
RIP URITIYOGI
RIP NIGHT
RIP VONUNOV
RIP WES/THEWAKE
RIP USERNAME

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02-15-2014 03:48 PM
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xcriteria Offline
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RE: "Creative" writing

(02-15-2014 01:34 PM)Hansgrohe Wrote:  I hear you though, these "creative" classes are oftentimes the opposite, I.e. with the sometimes rigid rules on what you can and cannot write. Imagine a true creative class that allowed you to write whatever you wanted and had all the info. Not in school.

We can do more than imagine it,and create it (though maybe not within your existing classes.)

Maybe write stories for class, whatever the rules, about protagonists struggling with having their creativity crushed out of them, amid boring classes and stifling rules?

The question in my mind is, what makes a good "class replacement," that has not only freedom, but good prompts, information, and feedback. Sometimes challenges (assignments) are useful, but they should be motivated, somehow.

The TV Tropes ARG, The Wall Will Fall, was partly created with the goal of teaching writing. In it, players had to write stories about the characters, and submit them to another character (Mr. Administrator.) It was an interesting way to get people to practice writing.

Maybe some form of that approach could be taken in GoSS, or the game(s) we've been talking about making based on School Survival?

That could be an exercise to kickstart some creativity, in itself.

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02-15-2014 03:56 PM
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brainiac3397 Offline
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Post: #7
"Creative" writing

In one of my hs english classes, we did some assignment where we'd right down a sentence on a paper and pass it down and the next person would add a sentence, and basically create a story.(About 22-23 students, so that many sentences).

Every mention about soviet tanks was my contribution Biggrin

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02-15-2014 04:09 PM
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craxyguy562 Offline
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Post: #8
"Creative" writing

I have an idea I'll have to two characters who are a race that rarely are heroes; skunk and ghost.

Have them be pissed they have to do a cliche hero's journey.
and have them break the fourth wall several times and complain about being forced to follow a cliche story line.

Have the break the fourth wall to warn how pissed the reader(teacher) will be if they go off course.

Last but most Have them point out all the flaws in the story breaking the fourth wall again.

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02-15-2014 04:22 PM
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craxyguy562 Offline
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RE: "Creative" writing

(02-15-2014 03:48 PM)Hansgrohe Wrote:  Perhaps use them in unconventional ways. Look up alternative definitions and tell the teacher you weren't aware.

That would be useful if she didn't explain so much...Mad

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02-15-2014 04:25 PM
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Post: #10
RE: "Creative" writing

(02-15-2014 04:22 PM)crazyguy562 Wrote:  I have an idea I'll have to two characters who are a race that rarely are heroes; skunk and ghost.

Have them be pissed they have to do a cliche hero's journey.
and have them break the fourth wall several times and complain about being forced to follow a cliche story line.

Have the break the fourth wall to warn how pissed the reader(teacher) will be if they go off course.

Last but most Have them point out all the flaws in the story breaking the fourth wall again.

Yeah, I'd say go with this. Perhaps we could all somehow contribute to this.

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02-15-2014 05:10 PM
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Post: #11
"Creative" writing

Hah, in Primary school it was worse. I remember writing changing into a system (for the worse) called writers craft. You had to continue the already written passage. Bleh. I was so dissapointed I couldn't use my characters anymore. It's like school is indirectly encouraging fanfiction (not that I have anything against them myself though, but isn't creating your own characters and universe more important for aspiring to be a writer?) Before that, there was a general subject (for example, a haunted house) for the story (I think, I can't remember exactly), and you'd right a story off that.
02-16-2014 08:50 AM
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craxyguy562 Offline
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Post: #12
"Creative" writing

Tonya's Hero's Journey

Tonya was taking a nap in the dense forest under a tree when he heard a tiny voice. Tonya woke up and asked "Who is it?"

"It's me Daniel, one of the many fleas on you." Daniel replied.

"What-"

"and I would like to invite you the city for an adventure." Daniel proposed. "the city is-"

"Um don't tell the readers(or they'll be grumpy.)but I've been to the city over a billion times so you don't need to explain the city too much." Tonya whispered to Daniel. Daniel raised a nonexistent eyebrow though Tonya was unable to see it because his fur was so thick.

"Basically the city is really beautiful so please come." he finished.

"I'd love to come." Tonya replied cheerfully. "but because this is a hero's journey I'll have to refuse the call." he added grumpily glaring at you. Daniel rubbed his chin and took out his flow map and began to observe it more closely.

"Would you come if I invited your supernatural friend, Kam, too?" asked Daniel. Tonya glanced at his flow map.

"Yes! I can." he replied starting to smile.

"YAY! LET'S GO!" said Kam floating over to Tonya.

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02-19-2014 10:22 AM
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Post: #13
"Creative" writing

A good start. I'd suggest adding far more sensory detail. Teachers love that.

RIP GWEDIN
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02-19-2014 10:25 AM
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Post: #14
"Creative" writing

This is creativity. She is testing your creativity by putting limitations on you. Creativity is practically born in limitation. However the hero's journey seems too limiting considering you have to follow her exact plot. Perhaps make the hero die at the end or something that is not conventional.
02-19-2014 10:33 AM
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no Offline
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Post: #15
RE: "Creative" writing

You should have made a hero's journey in which the protagonist has to go and kill the inventor of the hero's journey, who is terrorizing all the creative and original writers of the kingdom/planetoid/whateverplace. THAT would have been awesome.

The hero's journey is such an incredibly corny and cliche way of writing, I'm surprised they teach it at all. But, we were taught the H's J some character archetypes in a game design course a couple years ago and we HAD to use them in a project. I was a few nanometers short of yelling at the teacher "you WANT us to make unoriginal stuff that nobody with half a brain will look at twice?"

Unfortunately, the vast majority of the populace appears to have far less than half a brain, and therefore such identical-plot books/movies/games/stuffs continue to sell...

Hello, traveler.

This is an ancient account I have not used in a long time. My views have changed much in the intervening months and years.

Nonetheless, I refuse to clean it up. Pretending that I've held my current views since the beginning of time is what we in the industry call a lie. Asking people to do so contributes to moralistic self-loathing. "See, those people have nothing damning! I do! I'm truly vile!"

Because you can never be a good person with a single blemish on the moral record, I thought that simply entertaining some thoughts made me irredeemable. Though I don't care for his writing style, William Faulkner presents a good counterexample. He went from being a typical Southern racist to supporting the civil rights movement. These days we'd yell at him for that, probably.

People are allowed to change their views.

Nevertheless, this period of my life has informed some of how I am today. In good ways and bad ways. To purge it would be to do a disservice to history. Perhaps it will not make anyone sympathetic, but it may help someone understand.

If, after reading all this, you still decide to use the post above as evidence that I am evil today, ask yourself if you have never disagreed with the moral code you now follow. In all likelihood you did, at some point. If some questions are verboten, and the answer is "how dare you ask that," don't expect your ideological opponents to ever change their minds.
02-19-2014 10:34 AM
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RE: "Creative" writing

(02-19-2014 10:34 AM)planetfall666 Wrote:  You should have made a hero's journey in which the protagonist has to go and kill the inventor of the hero's journey, who is terrorizing all the creative and original writers of the kingdom/planetoid/whateverplace. THAT would have been awesome.

The hero's journey is such an incredibly corny and cliche way of writing, I'm surprised they teach it at all. But, we were taught the H's J some character archetypes in a game design course a couple years ago and we HAD to use them in a project. I was a few nanometers short of yelling at the teacher "you WANT us to make unoriginal stuff that nobody with half a brain will look at twice?"

Unfortunately, the vast majority of the populace appears to have far less than half a brain, and therefore such identical-plot books/movies/games/stuffs continue to sell...

The publishers/producers have half a brain. They are not willing to take a risk. I guarantee if you gave Game of Thrones as a video game idea (without it already being a book or TV show), Publishers would be like "How are we supposed to market this, does it even have a main character? We need a main character to put on the box." This is really how stupid they are. When you become a game designer you most likely won't be working on whatever the hell you want. You'll be working on some producer's idea of what will sell (and it will be cliche). Unless you become indie and your first game is a huge success, but there is a lot of competition.
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02-19-2014 10:46 AM
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Ky Offline
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Post: #17
"Creative" writing

(I will be playing the role of xcriteria for this post. Enjoy.)

Lampshading the cliched nature of The Hero's Journey is a good start, but a true exercise of your creativity is just how far you can subvert it without breaking the rules.

So what are the rules?

Such a journey can be boiled down to three stages:

- Departure: the Hero leaves the familiar world behind.
- Initiation: the Hero learns to navigate the unfamiliar world of adventure.
- Return: the Hero returns to the familiar world.

There are a number of ways you could subvert this. What if the Hero doesn't literally leave the familiar world, but experiences a personal journey? Or what if the Hero leaves for the unfamiliar world, and at the end realizes they never actually left the familiar world? Or maybe the Hero returns to the familiar world to find that it has become more unfamiliar than the world they just left?

But if you subvert that too heavily, your teacher might get suspicious that you're not following guidelines. So, try breaking the Hero's Journey up further:

1. The Hero is usually mentioned in a prophecy. Might be some sort of Chosen One.
2. The story begins in the familiar world; a world that must be either saved or restored from some sort of threat.
3. A Herald brings the Hero a Call To Adventure.
4. The Hero either initially refuses or gladly accepts The Call. Either way they'll end up taking it. They're often given a supernatural MacGuffin to aid them on their quest.
5. Then the Hero crosses the first Threshold into the unfamiliar world. They do so simply by accepting the quest by choice, though this choice can be motivated by the attempted coercion of some sort of Threshold Guardian.
6. The Hero then enters the Land of Adventure. It will be much unlike the world they left behind, and serve as the place they learn the rules.
7. After learning what adventure truly means, the Hero will suffer a loss of some kind, putting them in the Belly Of The Whale.
8. The Hero will then climb out - this is the meat of the story - by constantly being tested throughout their adventure.
9. After succeeding at this, the Hero will then attempt to stop the Big Bad's master plan.
10. The Hero suddenly sees the unfamiliar world in a new way, and uses this knowledge to defeat the Big Bad in an epic boss battle.
11. The Hero will decide he likes the unfamiliar world, but will be called back to the familiar world.
12. Then, the Hero returns to the familiar world, but not before fighting off the rest of his enemies he's made along the way using all the skills he's learned.
13. Upon entering the familiar world, the Hero will team up with the familiar world's inhabitants to finish off a final, probably super weak threat.
14. The Hero will tell the people of the familiar world that he has saved them. The End.

Now, there are a lot of ways you could subvert this yet keep the same story structure. Try messing around with it for yourself and see what interesting things you come up with.

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02-19-2014 11:03 AM
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"Creative" writing

(02-19-2014 11:03 AM)DoA Wrote:  (I will be playing the role of xcriteria for this post. Enjoy.)

Lampshading the cliched nature of The Hero's Journey is a good start, but a true exercise of your creativity is just how far you can subvert it without breaking the rules.

So what are the rules?

Such a journey can be boiled down to three stages:

- Departure: the Hero leaves the familiar world behind.
- Initiation: the Hero learns to navigate the unfamiliar world of adventure.
- Return: the Hero returns to the familiar world.

There are a number of ways you could subvert this. What if the Hero doesn't literally leave the familiar world, but experiences a personal journey? Or what if the Hero leaves for the unfamiliar world, and at the end realizes they never actually left the familiar world? Or maybe the Hero returns to the familiar world to find that it has become more unfamiliar than the world they just left?

But if you subvert that too heavily, your teacher might get suspicious that you're not following guidelines. So, try breaking the Hero's Journey up further:

1. The Hero is usually mentioned in a prophecy. Might be some sort of Chosen One.
2. The story begins in the familiar world; a world that must be either saved or restored from some sort of threat.
3. A Herald brings the Hero a Call To Adventure.
4. The Hero either initially refuses or gladly accepts The Call. Either way they'll end up taking it. They're often given a supernatural MacGuffin to aid them on their quest.
5. Then the Hero crosses the first Threshold into the unfamiliar world. They do so simply by accepting the quest by choice, though this choice can be motivated by the attempted coercion of some sort of Threshold Guardian.
6. The Hero then enters the Land of Adventure. It will be much unlike the world they left behind, and serve as the place they learn the rules.
7. After learning what adventure truly means, the Hero will suffer a loss of some kind, putting them in the Belly Of The Whale.
8. The Hero will then climb out - this is the meat of the story - by constantly being tested throughout their adventure.
9. After succeeding at this, the Hero will then attempt to stop the Big Bad's master plan.
10. The Hero suddenly sees the unfamiliar world in a new way, and uses this knowledge to defeat the Big Bad in an epic boss battle.
11. The Hero will decide he likes the unfamiliar world, but will be called back to the familiar world.
12. Then, the Hero returns to the familiar world, but not before fighting off the rest of his enemies he's made along the way using all the skills he's learned.
13. Upon entering the familiar world, the Hero will team up with the familiar world's inhabitants to finish off a final, probably super weak threat.
14. The Hero will tell the people of the familiar world that he has saved them. The End.

Now, there are a lot of ways you could subvert this yet keep the same story structure. Try messing around with it for yourself and see what interesting things you come up with.

5/10 okay impersonation. You forgot YouTube videos.
02-19-2014 11:12 AM
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Ky Offline
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RE: "Creative" writing

(02-19-2014 11:12 AM)Gwedin Wrote:  5/10 okay impersonation. You forgot YouTube videos.

Silly Gwedin, he only includes YouTube videos in every other post.

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02-19-2014 11:14 AM
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RE: "Creative" writing

(02-19-2014 11:03 AM)DoA Wrote:  (I will be playing the role of xcriteria for this post. Enjoy.)

Thanks, DoA. I've been meaning to post pretty much exactly this reply, and to my pleasant surprise, it was done for me. Biggrin

The way I skimmed the page, I read most of the text before the xcriteria reference, so that really made me laugh.

It's a good point, though... there are elements within the Hero's Journey which can be played with, and a number are useful in a range of stories. The TV Tropes references help illustrate that.

Now, to build a bit more on some of these points...

(02-19-2014 11:03 AM)DoA Wrote:  Lampshading the cliched nature of The Hero's Journey is a good start, but a true exercise of your creativity is just how far you can subvert it without breaking the rules.

So what are the rules?

Such a journey can be boiled down to three stages:

- Departure: the Hero leaves the familiar world behind.
- Initiation: the Hero learns to navigate the unfamiliar world of adventure.
- Return: the Hero returns to the familiar world.

There are a number of ways you could subvert this. What if the Hero doesn't literally leave the familiar world, but experiences a personal journey? Or what if the Hero leaves for the unfamiliar world, and at the end realizes they never actually left the familiar world? Or maybe the Hero returns to the familiar world to find that it has become more unfamiliar than the world they just left?

Robert McKee has a system for thinking about different kinds of stories, with the "classical story structure," basically the hero's journey, as one of three points in a triangle.

This can take some reflection to really understand, but it can be a useful way to think about how other types of stories relate to "classical story structure," or "archplot." According to McKee, stories can have combinations of these three formats, but the points on the triangle help illustrate two major alternatives to the hero's journey.

Archplot, Miniplot, Antiplot: The Story Triangle

[Image: tumblr_lj174oBjTv1qg2g55o1_500.jpg]

Click the link above for a brief summary, but you can see how the so-called "miniplot" focuses more on the inner life of the protagonist(s), than their outward journey... and the "anti-plot" is more nonlinear and inconsistent.

McKee is a heavyweight in training and advising professional screenwriters and novelists, so he's someone to reference if you want to discuss alternatives to the "classical" hero's journey with reference to someone "credible."

Of course, the points on that triangle don't exhaust the possibilities of storytelling, either, but they provide a broader reference of possible approaches. You could have multiple, active protagonists, and show their inner conflicts somehow, as well, rather than focusing on a single hero against antagonists. (Some forms of conflict, in general, are pretty universal to stories.)

It's worth noting, though, that stories with at least some elements of the classical structure do tend to be more popular with audiences.

(Continued in part two, variations on the "hero" role.)

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Post: #21
RE: "Creative" writing

Part 2: Variations on the "hero" role.

The classical hero's journey depicts a hero in conflict with villains, or dark forces of some kind. However, what if some of the dark forces are from within? What if the hero is lazy or flawed, beyond just refusing the call, or needing to grow in some way?

These questions lead to the concept of the anti-hero, which actually has a number of forms, as the TV Tropes page explains:

"...an antihero is a protagonist who has the opposite of most of the traditional attributes of a hero. (S)he may be bewildered, ineffectual, deluded, or merely apathetic. More often an antihero is just an amoral misfit."

And, of note, "Most are to the cynical end of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism."

To quote a bit more, "There are just as many variations on Anti-Heroes as there are normal heroes. Some common attributes are: rarely speaking, being a loner, either extreme celibacy or extreme promiscuity, father issues, occasional Bad Dreams and flashbacks relating to a Dark and Troubled Past that can take many forms depending on the Anti-Hero in question..." you get the idea.

Typically, though a hero's journey, the hero (even with anti-hero qualities) will grow and change in some way along the journey. This is known as character development, and it can often make a story stronger when done well.

But, what if the character doesn't want to change, or it doesn't make sense given the story? This leads to a key element of yet another theory of storytelling, called Dramatica theory. (Not to be confused with Encyclopedia Dramatica.) Dramatica has a number of elements, and it provides a different lens through which to think about stories. One is, the question of whether the protagonist need to change or remain steadfast in their convictions or patterns of action.

On to variations on the villain...

Just like the concept of "anti-hero" in its various forms contrasts with the traditional hero, TV Tropes has a whole page about anti-villains, including a Sliding Scale of Anti-Villains.

"The Anti-Villain is a villain with heroic goals, personality traits, and/or virtues. Their desired ends are mostly good, but their means of getting there are evil. Alternatively, their desired ends are evil, but they are far more ethical or moral than most villains and they thus use fairly benign means to achieve it, and can be rather heroic on occasion."

In practice, the line between an "anti-villain" and an "anti-hero" can blur quite a bit. But, one thing that often differentiates heroes and villains in fiction is that villains tend to have plans, while heros are often called to react to those villainous plans. The trope for this pattern is Villains Act, Heroes React. Another way of stating this is that good stories tend to require conflict... so, who or what will initiate the conflict? Very often, it starts with some sort of villain.

However, things could also start with an inner conflict in the protagonist, such as a desire for a world of adventure, discontent with one's current life, or things of that nature.

That's part of the idea behind Donald Miller's "Storyline" guide, which is a way of applying principles of fiction and storytelling to lead a richer, more interesting life. One explanatory clip, Anticipated Conflict [3m], sums up the benefits of conflict in "living a great story."

Continued in part 3...

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Post: #22
RE: "Creative" writing

Part 3, more quotes and responses

(02-19-2014 11:14 AM)DoA Wrote:  
(02-19-2014 11:12 AM)Gwedin Wrote:  5/10 okay impersonation. You forgot YouTube videos.

Silly Gwedin, he only includes YouTube videos in every other post.

Lol, Gwedin. It's true, not all of my posts have videos... but I do have some in mind for this sequence. Biggrin

On that note, for those who want a brief summary of the hero's journey in video form, and a possible link to real life experience, Christopher Vogler sums up the stages in this clip:



Watch on YouTube

One thing I find interesting about this clip is Vogler's explanation that he experienced the stages of the hero's journey in his own quest, from wanting to be involved in the movies in some way, to being a writer and working on his book about writing.

There certainly are real-life cases of people experiencing the equivalent of the hero's journey stages... even in a cyclical manner, rather than as a single, simple story.

But, many other people seem to find themselves living in the "mundane world" of everyday reality for long periods of time, or even their entire lives. This leads to some of the conflict often noticed between young, "idealistic" would-be adventurers in life, vs. their jaded, cynical parents and other elders in their life, who look at the world through Jade-colored glasses and make comments like "life is not like that..."

How common a theme is that?

(Although, very often, rather than would-be adventurers, the young people in those stories often end up even further toward the cynicism side of the scale than those more mildly-jaded elders...)

Continued in part 4, "the return."

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02-20-2014 01:40 AM
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RE: "Creative" writing

Part 4, "The return."

"12. Then, the Hero returns to the familiar world, but not before fighting off the rest of his enemies he's made along the way using all the skills he's learned."

Now that I've gone through the journey of explanations above, I'm back to explain what I've learned. Biggrin

Like Vogler explained above, composing these replies is as much of a "journey" for me as it (hopefully!) could be for you, the audience, as you read it.

Unfortunately, my attempts to write interesting, relevant things often results in quite the opposite, but more of a villainous "wall of text" that the reader must hack through, or walk around.

That's a good lead-in for talking about my journey. Get ready for an autobiographical tale of mystery and suspense!

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Or, maybe not... I'd love to pull that off, but I'm still learning how to write and compose effective texts, myself.

And that gets into the challenge for you, the protagonist in your story, as a creative writer.

What do you do, when the mentors, or supposed wise elders, in your journey, don't have it all figured out, themselves?

This leads to a hero's journey element DoA's list kind of obscured, the role of mentors. This is often known as Supernatural Aid, which could take the form of a MacGuffin, like a magical elixir, but it but also be in other forms, like knowledge. This "supernatural aid" is generally delivered by mentor-like characters.

"The gift-giver will usually be either a godlike being trying to help the heroes without intervening directly, or just a Mentor."

In creative writing class, this should be your teacher, right?

And in life in general, this should be in the form of your teachers, parents, counselors, and favorite authors, songwriters, deities, or simply people or things you encounter somehow, right?

But, when does the mix of things of value you might get from these sources add up to anything worthy of the name "supernatural aid," or even rough equivalents, along any semblance of a "hero's journey" sequence?

And, in particular, where are they on your journey to become some form of writer or creator?

This question is particularly relevant when potential mentors or teachers disappoint. "Really? This is all there is?"

And, it links back to brainiac's thread, Student + Teacher = Success.

(Go on, re-read it. Or at least recall it. Oh, alright, I'll quote the relevant bits. Or maybe not... it'll be tl;dr...)

And such is part of my conflict, in trying to connect together relevant bits into something that might invoke a feeling of "aha!" in a potential audience. Given that I've never had explicit training in this, I've ended up having to do a lot of Trial and Error Gameplay over the years... and wondering where to go to learn the craft of writing, especially writing for immersive experiences, not just passively-consumed novels, plays, and posts.

[Image: morespikes.png]

Anyway, I'm about to go off into a long tangent about the need to transform education into something more like being in a story... and co-creating it along the way... but that's a topic for another time.

And, as is often the case, I'm left feeling too deep into a rabbit hole of explanations to wrap it all around into something that seems coherent and planned-out. Not all my posts end up in that place, but a lot of the longer ones do.

And maybe this is one of them.

But this leads into the moral of the story: as a reader, viewer, or learner, you can learn how to analyze and break apart what writers, performers, and teachers are providing, grab the good bits, and try to assemble the into "supernatural aid" on your own.

In many cases, that's the only way to find any such thing.

But then, what's the actual impending conflict or challenge, that one would ever need "supernatural aid" for, in your story?

(If there is none... that'd be one way to subvert the hero's journey... see Waiting For Godot for an extreme form of that approach, where no steps are taken.)

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Post: #24
RE: "Creative" writing

Part 5, reflecting on all that

This all gives me an idea. What if you break the fourth wall so fully, you actually manage to pull your teacher into a "teacher's journey..."

To really do that effectively, it might help to know something about your teacher's overall life path, reasons for teaching, hopes and dreams, frustrations and sources of despair.

I'm not sure how to figure any of that out in a traditional factory-model classroom context. Normally, that'd require interviewing someone in some depth.

But, then again, part of the craft of creating stories is figuring out how to write things with some kind of universal appeal. That's part of the idea of the hero's journey, and why it's so popular... but there could be more than one path to making a story that can resonate with multiple people, even without knowing them intimately.

What do you all think? Would it be possible to write a story, for a writing class, that somehow pulls the teacher into some form of story that has the feel of an ARG, or being spoken to directly... and in a way that also leads to a positive response, rather than a negative one?

It may depend a lot on the teacher... but part of what writing is all about is experimentation, and getting feedback.

And on that note... feedback on any of the above? I'm really trying to learn how to write more interesting things myself, and I think the main path to improvement is actually learning more about how people respond to particular parts of what I write. The same is probably true of others.

And that's one thing to mention if you get flak for pushing the boundaries for a class assignment. Explain that you're really trying to learn a craft, and you need better feedback if you have any hope of getting better.

So... feedback? Razz

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02-20-2014 02:33 AM
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RE: "Creative" writing

Now, I will try providing some feedback...

(02-19-2014 10:22 AM)crazyguy562 Wrote:  Tonya's Hero's Journey

Tonya was taking a nap in the dense forest under a tree when he heard a tiny voice. Tonya woke up and asked "Who is it?"
"It's me Daniel, one of the many fleas on you." Daniel replied.
"What-"
"and I would like to invite you the city for an adventure." Daniel proposed. "the city is-"
"Um don't tell the readers(or they'll be grumpy.)but I've been to the city over a billion times so you don't need to explain the city too much." Tonya whispered to Daniel. Daniel nodded though Tonya was unable to see it because his fur was so thick.
"Basically the city is really beautiful so please come." he finished.
"I'd love to come." Tonya replied cheerfully. "but because this is a hero's journey I'll have to refuse the call." he added grumpily glaring at you. Daniel rubbed his chin and took out his flow map and began to observe it more closely.
"Would you come if I invited your supernatural friend, Kam, too?" asked Daniel. Tonya glanced at his flow map.
"Yes! I can." he replied starting to smile.
"YAY! LET'S GO!" said Kam floating over to Tonya.

The first thing that comes to mind here may seem nitpicky, but it helps a lot to break things like this up with some whitespace. A blank line between each of these lines will make it a lot more readable.

Another nitpicky piece of feedback is to use proper punctuation for quotes. This will make whatever you submit more appealing to your teacher, but it'll also be more readable in general.

For example, at the end of a quote, use a comma rather than a period:

"I don't like editing my work," he said.

...instead of...

"I don't like editing my work." he said.

And there are some other punctuation things to clean up if you look around a bit (mostly just adding commas at various points.)

Anyway, on to your writing itself:

Quote:"I'd love to come." Tonya replied cheerfully. "but because this is a hero's journey I'll have to refuse the call." he added grumpily glaring at you. Daniel rubbed his chin and took out his flow map and began to observe it more closely.

Haha, this is good. The "you" feels a bit strange, though. It might make sense to say "the reader" or "the teacher," or perhaps something like "the textbook" or "the handout from class." This is a a bit more subtle, and might set the stage for actually using "you" later on.

What do you think?

Quote:"Would you come if I invited your supernatural friend, Kam, too?" asked Daniel. Tonya glanced at his flow map.

Haha, this is very good, too. You're referencing a document here, which is good. It might help to do so also in the previous line, to provide a sort of setup before taking the more extreme step of directly addressing the reader.

It might also be worth being a bit more subtle than using the word "supernatural." Then again, banging the reader over the head with the textbook term might well make sense here.

Anyone else have thoughts on that?

Quote:"Yes! I can." he replied starting to smile.

I'd say "I will" (or some variation on "I'd love to") instead of "I can," since it's a newly-desired choice on the part of the previously-reluctant hero.

(Unless you want to emphasize continued reluctance... but then I'd go with "I guess so" or some variation.)

Quote:"YAY! LET'S GO!" said Kam floating over to Tonya.

YAY! Biggrin

What happens inside the city... or on the way... or at its gates?

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Post: #26
RE: "Creative" writing

And that, friends, is how a REAL xcriteria does it.

Hello, traveler.

This is an ancient account I have not used in a long time. My views have changed much in the intervening months and years.

Nonetheless, I refuse to clean it up. Pretending that I've held my current views since the beginning of time is what we in the industry call a lie. Asking people to do so contributes to moralistic self-loathing. "See, those people have nothing damning! I do! I'm truly vile!"

Because you can never be a good person with a single blemish on the moral record, I thought that simply entertaining some thoughts made me irredeemable. Though I don't care for his writing style, William Faulkner presents a good counterexample. He went from being a typical Southern racist to supporting the civil rights movement. These days we'd yell at him for that, probably.

People are allowed to change their views.

Nevertheless, this period of my life has informed some of how I am today. In good ways and bad ways. To purge it would be to do a disservice to history. Perhaps it will not make anyone sympathetic, but it may help someone understand.

If, after reading all this, you still decide to use the post above as evidence that I am evil today, ask yourself if you have never disagreed with the moral code you now follow. In all likelihood you did, at some point. If some questions are verboten, and the answer is "how dare you ask that," don't expect your ideological opponents to ever change their minds.
02-20-2014 06:25 AM
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Post: #27
"Creative" writing

(02-20-2014 06:25 AM)planetfall666 Wrote:  And that, friends, is how a REAL xcriteria does it.

Yep... Five posts. Let's see you do that, imposter.
02-20-2014 08:47 AM
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RE: "Creative" writing

(02-20-2014 08:47 AM)Gwedin Wrote:  
(02-20-2014 06:25 AM)planetfall666 Wrote:  And that, friends, is how a REAL xcriteria does it.

Yep... Five posts. Let's see you do that, imposter.

Actually, DoA, it'd be interesting to see your critique of those 5 posts.

I'm sure there's a better way to structure and say what I was getting at, though I do think I presented some worthwhile points of reference and posed some valid questions.

Maybe a format other than forum posts would be best? The question is how to present material in a way that people read, can digest, and that somehow drives engagement (responses, new skills that people can apply later, a compelling experience, etc.)

Same with whatever media we produce like books, comics, pamphlets, videos, and so on. Or even "classes" meant to provide a better mode of instruction than the ones people are constantly taking issue with in their schools.

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Post: #29
"Creative" writing

Creative my ass. Schools say that to make you upset.

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If you need tech support, PM me. Everything's free of charge. I use Teamviewer in case it's needed.

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02-20-2014 09:09 AM
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Post: #30
RE: "Creative" writing

(02-20-2014 09:04 AM)xcriteria Wrote:  
(02-20-2014 08:47 AM)Gwedin Wrote:  
(02-20-2014 06:25 AM)planetfall666 Wrote:  And that, friends, is how a REAL xcriteria does it.

Yep... Five posts. Let's see you do that, imposter.

Actually, DoA, it'd be interesting to see your critique of those 5 posts.

I'm sure there's a better way to structure and say what I was getting at, though I do think I presented some worthwhile points of reference and posed some valid questions.

Maybe a format other than forum posts would be best? The question is how to present material in a way that people read, can digest, and that somehow drives engagement (responses, new skills that people can apply later, a compelling experience, etc.)

Same with whatever media we produce like books, comics, pamphlets, videos, and so on. Or even "classes" meant to provide a better mode of instruction than the ones people are constantly taking issue with in their schools.

If you want to share the same amount of information in the same amount of words, the easiest way to lure the reader in without instantly scaring them away is to break the information into sections and surround the contents of each section with the Hidden tags. That's what I did in my Fallout: GoSS thread, anyway.

Optimally (though optionally), once you're finished writing you could go back to the top and write a quick summary that's not Hidden.

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