Thursday, 23 August 2012

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Amazing Writing Advice #14: The Two Basic Plots and What They Mean

People say that every story can be boiled down to one of seven basic plots. Poppycock, you can boil them down to two basic plots, here they are:

1) The bloke you are writing about, well, he has to overcome some stuff and succeeds. Examples: Star Wars, Lethal Weapon, The Road, Pride and Prejudice, Neighbours, Lethal Weapon 2.

2) The bloke you are writing about, well, he has to overcome some stuff and fails. Examples: The Illiad, Lethal Weapon 3 and 4, The Bible 2: The New Testament.

So, what does this really tell, us? Yes, plot doesn't matter, all you need are obstacles. They can range from hurdles to Madge Bishop but they are what make a story great, random obstacles that confound your hero until he succeeds/fails completely. Some of my favourite hurdles are:


  • Hurdles
  • Madge Bishop
  • Armies of zombie kittens
  • Having to go to work
  • Michael Gove (keep him 'til the end and make him the puppet master bad guy)
  • Asteroids
  • Worms
  • Paper cuts
  • Megatron
  • A one way system
Hopefully these will help fire your imagination!

Cheers,

Mark

Friday, 3 August 2012

Reading Propaganda

Way back in March I took part in the Library Lobby and Hot Key Books wrote this blog about it. It talks about Lydia Syson's new book, A World Between Us and mentioned a Spanish Civil War propaganda poster with the slogan 'Read! To be educated, to be strong, to be human!'*

I needed to get a copy of that poster.

I searched the endless deserts of Google but to no avail. So, with the help of a designer I work with, I created my own.



Do with it what you will.

Cheers,

Mark


*Obviously the Spanish poster was in Spanish.