LET'S WRITE! 5 TYPES OF STORIES!

An ongoing tutorial on writing for comic books and other media.

This article is based on things I've learned along the way, but mostly is based on professional teachings. By writing this, I hope to re-teach myself, as well as pass on some helpful tips. There's been some revelations to my writing lately that can in fact translate well into RPG Maker. However, I will keep RM notes to a minimal and focus on Comics.

5 Types of Stories

  • Plot

  • Tale

  • Character Study

  • Sketch

  • Monograph

These are the only types of stories. Anything else is part of one of these, or a sub-category of one of these. Let's work through them...

PLOT

This is the type of story you will find in most all types of media above the rest. It's the mainstream storytelling method, that is the most audience pleasing, sells the best, and is generally a more rewarding experience. This is the type you often find in RPG Maker games as well, let alone most games.
A plot is an interesting character in an interesting location who finds a desire and works towards that goal.
So what does that mean, an interesting character in an interesting location? That's tripe! No, it's not. No one wants to read about an average joe, in his living room, reading a book. That's either a story about ourselves that will get boring really quickly. If I tell you a story like this:
"Hey, did I tell you about that time I walked to the store and bought a can of pop? Well, I walked to the store, because it was a nice day out, and I bought a can of pop to cool off. It was refreshing.
The End."
That's pretty boring right? How about this:
"This poor beggar was stranded in the alley during a massive thunderstorm. She found a dollar in the gutter, and so, crossed the street to buy a pop and avoid the rain just a little while.
The End"
Still pretty boring, but not nearly as boring as the first example!
Back track now. What makes an interesting character? What is a character?

There's four types of characters. Hero, Anti-Hero, Everyman, and Misanthrope. These types are defined by their traits. It's pretty easy actually! Bravery, Selflessness, and Skill. Depending on the combination of these, define the type of character.
Hero: Brave, Skilled and Selfless.
Anti-Hero: Has two of the traits.
Everyman: Has one of the traits.
Misanthrope: Has none of these traits. A cowardly, unskilled, and selfish guy. Probably a real bastard, amirite?

So, what makes these characters interesting? They must have a unique skill or trait that defines them. Some examples might be:
-The Greatest Detective. (Batman)
-The Smallest Transient. (The Littlest Hobo series)
-The Smartest Daughter. (Pride and Prejudice)
-The Worst Team. (The Mighty Ducks)

Now, what's important is that you don't write a plot about one of these characters sitting on the sofa, reading a book. The location should reflect the character and/or character traits. You can go as big as "...in the world" or as small as "...in the room" or even "...in the story". Some examples are:
-The Greatest Detective in the World. (Batman)
-The Smallest Transient in North America. (The Littlest Hobo series)
-The Smartest Daughter in the Family. (Pride and Prejudice)
-The Worst Team in Little League Hockey. (The Mighty Ducks)
The easiest way to do this, is literally fill in a mad-lib! The _____iest ____ of ____.
Even if you want to write a story about an Everyman, remember that he needs at least one trait to rely on that will solve the ultimate problem. Batman is the World's Greatest Detective. If I am writing a story about that, his fisticuffs or scare-tactics are not how he solves the story's problem; instead, he'll solve a crime with his deductive abilities. If I'm writing a story about the Smallest Transient in North America, I'm going to work in that the Littlest Hobo has to crawl through a small spot, that normal people couldn't reach, to solve the problem.
So that gets me to the next point:

Desire. Before we begin writing anything, we need our character to have a desire to strive after. The love of the girl next door. Saving the planet from alien invaders. Saving her family from going bankrupt. Finding the lost treasures of Atlantis. Etcetra.
So decide on a goal for your character that can be solved by using his/her special trait!
Second, decide if they achieve their goal or not. You are God here, don't be afraid to smite your creations.
Example:
-The Greatest Detective in the World. (Batman) Wants to Save the Mayor's Daughter from the Joker. And Yes, he succeeds.
-The Smallest Transient in North America. (The Littlest Hobo series) Wants to save his new friend, Billy, from the burning factory. And Yes, he does succeed.
-The Worst Team in Little League Hockey. (The Mighty Ducks) Wants to win the hockey championship. And No, they don't succeed.

SIDE NOTE:You will note that I have Mighty Ducks here. You can use a Team, because they are a unified unit (or not unified unit) that need to work together towards a central goal. Generally, you do not want to follow any more than three POV's though.

Okay, now we have our Character, our Location, we've decided what type of character our protagonist is, there's a Desire, and we know whether or not they succeed.
Here's what makes a good story: Do not give me a completely YES or NO answer to your character's Desire. Give me a "Yes, but..." or "No, but..." and add an unexpected change to the outcome. This way you are feeding your audience what they expect (keeping them happy) and delivering something new, which makes it more delightful.
This can be as cheesy as...
-The Greatest Detective in the World. (Batman) Wants to Save the Mayor's Daughter from the Joker. And Yes, he succeeds, and along the way the two fall in love.
-The Smallest Transient in North America. (The Littlest Hobo series) Wants to save his new friend, Billy, from the burning factory. And Yes, he does succeed, but the Hobo's leg is badly injured and he can't continue his journey.
-The Worst Team in Little League Hockey. (The Mighty Ducks) Wants to win the hockey championship. And No, they don't succeed, but they gain a father figure and unite as a group.

That little twist makes it interesting and will stick with you a lot more than if it is simply a YES or NO answer.
If Rocky had have won the fight against Apollo Creed in the first film and hugged Adrian at the end, that wouldn't have been an interesting ending. Instead, Rocky loses but still feels victorious, because he "went the distance".
The twist ending comes from what is called the Subplot. I'm sure you all heard the term before. The subplot is introduced during the Plot, somewhere after the introduction of the Desire, and the protagonists choice to obtain the Desire.

Now here's how this all works. During the introduction, you will show us who the protagonist is, what is normal, what changes normal, and what the protagonist decides to do.
We know who the protagonist is, we know where their character is; but how is the Desire introduced? This is "what changes normal".
-Batman is in Gotham, standing on a building top. When suddenly, he sees the Bat-Signal. Normal: Gotham at night. What Changes: Batman is called to action.
-Littlest Hobo is playing in a field with his new friend. When suddenly, he some men in suits abduct the boy in a white van. Normal: Hobo is playing with Billy. What Changes: Billy is abducted.
-The Mighty Ducks are playing street hockey, not very well or coordinated. When suddenly, some kids laugh that they could never make it to the championship. Normal: The Ducks are playing street hockey. What Changes: The Ducks want to play real hockey.

My personal example was this:
The Coolest Cat in Dog Town wanted to win the Dance-Off, because he saw a poster advertising that the winner would get a lick from the cutest Tabby around. He succeeds in winning the Dance-Off, but he is now so famous that after the competition he is surrounded by fans and media that he can't get to the Tabby. (Loses chance at 'love' for the hollowness of fame.)

Now we have a "pitch". If I were to present this to a publisher or producer, it would have a far greater success than...
"Hey, did I tell you about that time I walked to the store and bought a can of pop? Well, I walked to the store, because it was a nice day out, and I bought a can of pop to cool off. It was refreshing.
The End."

What's great about this; is that it literally only takes a few minutes once you get comfortable with the format, to produce several unique story pitches in no time flat. I am beginning to make this a common practice, and I highly suggest you all do too. Keep a folder full of ideas and story pitches. When you need one; BAM! There it is.

I'll probably expand on Plots in another Article; this one will only focus on the basic types of stories and how to approach them. Plot is by far the most intense to learn, so we'll leave it for now.


TALE

Forget what you learned for a Plot. A tale is not about the Coolest Cat in Dog Town who wants to win the Dance Competition and earn a kiss from the hot Tabby. A tale is ending centric; whereas a Plot is all about information, emotion and character development, a tale is about the final moment.
Tales are usually used to explain a life lesson, or explain the way of the world.
For instance:
"A man woke up, found his alarm clock broke so he was late, ran out of the house, his car wouldn't start, so he ran to work. The man decided to cross the highway to reach his place of employment. As he was running across the highway, he was hit by a transport truck."
Now, the point of the story is, if you're going to cross a highway on foot--check for giant trucks coming toward you first. What was the man wearing?
Ah ha! See, the point of the Tale is not about the character, but about the POINT OF THE STORY. Do not run across highways without looking or you will DIE.
Everything that happens before his decision to cross the highway was irrelevant. He made the choice to cross the highway for work, but did not look both ways. No one would do this, so why did he? The inciting incident was that he was in a panic because his alarm broke and he was running late. So really, the tale can be:
"A man woke up, late for work. He decided to cross the highway on foot to reach work. He was hit by a transport truck and died."
What is normal: A man woke up.
What changes normal: He is late for work.
His choice: Cross a highway.
Moral: Look before you leap...
Simple, right? Let's look at the types of tales.

The 4 Types of Tales
-Historical
-Portrait
-Instructional
-Twist Ending

Historical
Tells the tale of why the world is the way it is.
There are a few different ways to do this.
-Fables/Myths: Informational tales of what is believed happened. Genesis 2:22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man, and He brought her to the man.
-Historical: Factual reasons of why something is the way it is. The Great Wall of China is a Chinese fortification built from 3rd century BC until the beginning of the 17th century, in order to protect the various dynasties from raids by Mongol, Turkic, and other nomadic tribes coming from areas in modern-day Mongolia and Manchuria.
-Winding: A series of unrelated characters have unique tales that all converge on one point in time and space; and then they collectively move on in their own tale.

Winding is a special kind of tale. CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS (1989) is a Woody Allen movie that beautifully tells a Winding tale.
SPOILER ALERT:
**There's a tale about a man who is cheating on his wife, and his mistress won't let him split it off so he decides to murder her. There's an unsuccessful film maker who is filming a documentary about a TV Personality. There is also a Rabbi who is going blind.
We learn later in the film as these three individual stories progress, that they share the Rabbi. In the end, the Rabbi holds a farewell party, where all three men are present and move on to have a conversation that concludes the overall point of the film.**
SPOILER END!
That's it for Historical tales. The format for the tale is the same, and it teaches us a lesson. Simple as that. You can elaborate on this format by integrating a Plot in the mix, but you will still be telling a tale.

Portrait
This type of tale is about capturing an emotion in time and space. It can be as cheesy as going through an old photo album, and looking at a picture of an old tire swing beside your house, then flashing back to the moment and telling a story up to that point in history.
For instance:
"There could be a long Plot about a boy's summer at grandma and grandpa's farm home where they are murdered by a couple of crooks who take over their house as a get away. The little boy eventually over-takes the crooks a la Home Alone, and in the end his parents arrive and before they leave he looks back to where he remembers grandma sitting in the shade with a glass of lemonade and grandpa pushing him in the tire swing, and takes a picture."
Boom! That moment will stick in your memory. The rest of the film, the action, the comedy, the tragedy--whatever. The moment that is stamped into your brain, is that final moment in the tale. The captured emotion in time and space. This works especially for war movies. They can be historical AND portrait pieces!

Instructional
This one is simple, you learn from the choices of the character. For instance, don't cross a highway without looking for traffic!
The choice is what matters here. Here's the type of choices:
-Parable: Baffling choices.
-Cautionary: Bad choices.
-Polemic: Unpopular choices.
-Inspirational: Good choices.

Twist Ending
This is also known as the Twilight Zone or a Joke. It takes what you assumed and says, "no, you're wrong." It's the "unforced assumption."
For instance:
"A drunk man comes home late one night, and he has a goose under his arm. He's making such a racket at the bottom of the stairs that his wife wakes up and yells at him. "You loud idiot, you're so drunk you'll wake up the whole neighbourhood!" and the man slurs, "I just wanted to show you the pig I've been *bleep*ing for all these years!" The wife is exasperated and says, "You loud idiot, you're so drunk you don't even realise that's a goose under your arm!" To which the man says, "I was talking to the goose."
Again, the point of a tale is the final moment. "Goose" here is the final word, and in our twist ending we 'assumed' that he's talking about the goose, but is in fact talking to the goose. Sudden switch of what is assumed is what makes that joke funny.
There's a famous Twilight Zone scene where a man is on an airplane and mid-flight he notices a demon or monster on the wing. He tries to explain this to everyone, but when someone else looks out the window, of course there's nothing on the wing. It gets to the point that by the time they land the aircraft the man is taken away to the insane asylum. Then they look at the wing and it had been torn up.
Again, the twist is the last moment, where what we assumed was this man is in fact insane. What swapped out is that he wasn't.
The same rules apply for Twist Ending tales as all the other tales, as far as format goes. Except that we are "learning" that we were deceived.


CHARACTER STUDY

This is very popular and easy to do in television or sitcoms, because it maintains a character's development over a long time. It works in a video game as well.
In the beginning of a Character Study, the character declares out loud something about themselves. For instance: "I am a pacifist, and do not agree with violence." or "I only work alone." or "I believe in God."

Now it is your job as the writer to be a complete asshole. Start throwing obstacles in the way that cause your character to choose between sticking to what they declared, or breaking their word. The key word here is "Choose". It must be a choice. If you don't believe in violence, and suddenly a rhino is charging you and there's a rhino gun beside you; that's not a choice. That's survival. If there's a rhino on the loose and there's a rhino gun inside a locked cabinet in the department store nearby; that would be a choice. Why the hell someone would make that choice is determined either by your character traits (which was discussed in the Plot segment), the situation, or the Desire/motive of the scene.
Anyway, the choices should be at least three. Do not let your character fold after one choice, give them at least 2 before the final choice. The final choice is what defines the ending; and by then the audience is on the edge of their seat to see if he will go break out that rhino gun!
Because of this, stagger your choice difficulty.
Start with an easy choice. (Using the pacifist as examples)
-A drunk is trying to pick a fight with you. Walk away, of course.
Then toss in an unexpected choice. Something the audience and the character wouldn't normally have to deal with.
-You find the drunk from before, sleeping with your wife/husband.
Finally toss in the unknowable choice. A choice that really will push your character the furthest.
-The drunk adulterer, decides to kill you and take your wife/husband as their own.

Now we get to the part that everyone rebels against, but facts are facts.
The choice of your character is decided by the target audience you are writing for! Not what the character or story demands. If you decide the character and story come first, then the outcome of the character's story arc is defined by the choice.
Regardless of how you look at it, the target audience is what defines the ending.

If your audience is younger or kids; then making a CHANGE = Happiness. Your character will be happier or better off.
-You kill the drunk, and your wife/husband is extremely turned on by the violence and you have an incredible sex life for ever. (Hopefully this is not a kid's book.)

If your audience is teenage or young adult; then being RESOLUTE = Sadness. Your character will be unhappy or worse off by sticking to their guns.
-You run away from the drunk, and your wife/husband leaves you for the drunk. You're divorced, and a coward.

If your audience is old adult; then being RESOLUTE = Happiness. Your character will be happier and better off for sticking to your guns.
-You run away from the drunk, the wife/husband sees how psychotic the drunk is and runs away with you.

If your audience is old adult; then making a CHANGE = Sadness. Your character will be unhappy or worse off by changing their ways.
-You kill the drunk in turn and the wife/husband is afraid of your change and you are sent to jail for life.

Why is this? Well, it's simple. Children have to change every day! The world around them is all new and they're still learning lessons and evolving to adapt to their environment. Teenagers are cynical bastards, and enjoy seeing someone suffer for not making a change; similar to a child wanting change, but more cynical. That leaves older adults, who know who they are. They've made the changes and don't want to change. So seeing someone change and fail gives older people satisfaction; likewise seeing someone succeed for staying the same is satisfying.


SKETCH

A sketch is something you'll see on Saturday Night Live, Kids in the Hall, In Living Colour, and other shows of that nature. The idea of a sketch is take a normal situation, add a new element or turn the situation on it's head and add a normal person. Then milk it for all the outcomes.

What if there was a party, and suddenly Gumby showed up?


MONOGRAPH

This is a type of writing that cannot be taught. It is basically a type that ignores the rules of all other types, and is generally difficult to succeed with.
Here are some popular Monographs
One that you will all recognize is Alice in Wonderland. Sure there's a point to the book, the whole loss of identity and exploring the wonder... but it ignores traditional formats.
Monograph can work, but it is less successful than Plot or Tales or Character Studies.


These are the 5 Types of Stories.
My next article will be about How to Write a Scene. Which, I believe could apply very well to RPG Maker. Continued HERE.

Posts

Pages: first 12 next last
Dudesoft
always a dudesoft, never a soft dude.
5376
I'm also going to quickly add that the term 'twist' or 'unexpected' here, is not necissarily the best term. It's just something for when you're laying out the 'grand scheme' of your plot. I'll go further into detail about all that in later articles. There's a lot to cover before I can explain that. Right now, it's literally a fill in the blank slate before you go in and make the story interesting.
For instance, I didn't say why or how Batman fell in love. For all we know the mayor's daughter could be Selena Kyle (Catwoman). That sort of detail is not included yet.
When picking the type of story to write, you fill in the blanks so you know where to build up from.

Unless you're writing Monograph, then (imho) it's more about self-indulgent 'character writen' story. Or whatever. I won't explain Monograph because I can't.
I dunno, I do experience plots being rather predictable as a problem and not so unexpected twists doesn't really help here. In the case of your Batman example, while I wouldn't immediately guess that he'd fall in love with the Mayor's Daughter, my reaction would hardly be that of surprise. In the example with the broke man, I would not immediately guess that he'd feed homeless people, but I'd guess that the story will involve him learning from his experience and become a better person for it.

I think I'll go trough a few books and RPG plots and see how the ones I like and don't like holds up to your model.
Dudesoft
always a dudesoft, never a soft dude.
5376
No, in that example, what is considered 'new' is new to the Batman. Batman will never be happy, so the thought of a happy couple pairing is new and different; regardless, those examples were off the top of my head AND the 'new' doesn't have to innovative whatsoever. So long as it's the gain or loss you did not expect to get when someone told you the plot is the Joker kidnapped the Mayor's daughter and Batman has to save her. What you expect as a Batman fan is Bats punching Joker in the nose, and vanishing into the shadows.

But let's take another example instead.
Let's say you have a guy who lost his job, is completely broke, was just evicted and is facing a life on the streets.
He wants to get a new job to try and save his life.
Does he get it? Yes, BUT: he now manages to soup kitchen for homeless people.

We knew going in this story is about his financial success or gain. But we got instead, a story about a changed man. Nothing NEW about it, but it is a delightful little twist that would somehow involve a subplot.
I have a similar problem, only it's JRPGs instead of movies for me. Fortunately, the more I like a story, the less likely I am to start picking the story apart. So, I only dissect stories I wouldn't like anyway.

I think that one example given in this article highlight one of the causes for that.

author=Dudesoft
Give me a "Yes, but..." or "No, but..." and add an unexpected change to the outcome. This way you are feeding your audience what they expect (keeping them happy) and delivering something new, which makes it more delightful.
This can be as cheesy as...
-The Greatest Detective in the World. (Batman) Wants to Save the Mayor's Daughter from the Joker. And Yes, he succeeds, and along the way the two fall in love.

A man falling in love with a woman he rescues or protects is in no way or shape unexpected or something new. We have seen it hundreds of times already. That is, unless "the two" refers to Batman and Joker or Mayor's Daughter and Joker, but I don't think that's what you meant.

Most videogames does however what you described, they add something a dog could call as a twist. It's perfectly OK to use something the audience expects in most cases, but not when it's supposed to be unexpected.
Movies were pretty ruined for me from before. That's why I couldn't say this "ruined" movies for me. Instead it was just a new way of ruining movies. Again. :D
Dudesoft
always a dudesoft, never a soft dude.
5376
Honestly learning all this stuff (and things not in this particular tut) has absolutely ruined watching movies now. I literally cannot watch a film without seeing vividly; what a character proclaims about themselves, what kind of character they are, and worse; I know the ending at the opening ten minutes or so.

There's other stuff, like Runners, character change, and other shit not included here: bottom line, I watch movies from a totally different angle now. It's kind of annoying!

Watch Karate Kid (the new one). Prime example of a runner: in the opening scene, the Hero gets a skateboard as a momento of his home. (it also ends up representing the character's unwillingness to move on). You see it constantly in scenes up until he uses the skateboard to escape bullies. After he escapes you never see it again!

A 'Runner' in movies is an object, skill or person that is added into the plot only to solve a roadblock further down the road and is discarded directly afterward.
There's runners all over. Back to the Future the lightning is the biggest runner ever. In Die Hard, it's the watch... Etc. ha! Now I've ruined movies for you too! Mwahahaha!!!
The target audience thing has kinda blown my mind. Now I see how it is applied in stuff I see left and right! And I can't stop thinking about it and smirking knowingly to myself "harr harr, the target audience is this because they CHANGE".


For some reason that bit was kinda new to me but it makes so much sense.
And an issue that applies all too much more than a vague age group. I don't think that your age group generalization really applies at even a majority and that it's too vague. It's really my major issue with this article but I'm just harping on details.
Dudesoft
always a dudesoft, never a soft dude.
5376
author=doomed2die
Well, House is a very central and unique character. He mixes in a typical "cynical genius" with various other characteristics and has become iconic to many people. I'd say that while it's quite a bit a tale, there's much behind the characters and the development of these characters (House is very central to the people around him and changes them all the time as well as changes himself). And House's age variance is huge. All sorts of people of all sorts of ages watch it. (Hell maybe it's the happily cured and life changed patient, who knows?)

My point was that broad generalizations don't always work and, in making a character, much more than age group should be considered since even in a high school, everyone-everyone- has different tastes.
Right, but if I'm targetting at teenaged Twilight fans or if I'm targetting at teenaged Lord of the Rings fans or if I'm targetting at teenaged football fans: That is another issue ENTIRELY. The point that matters is the outcome based on choices of the character. (At least in the context of a Character Study.)
Well, House is a very central and unique character. He mixes in a typical "cynical genius" with various other characteristics and has become iconic to many people. I'd say that while it's quite a bit a tale, there's much behind the characters and the development of these characters (House is very central to the people around him and changes them all the time as well as changes himself). And House's age variance is huge. All sorts of people of all sorts of ages watch it. (Hell maybe it's the happily cured and life changed patient, who knows?)

My point was that broad generalizations don't always work and, in making a character, much more than age group should be considered since even in a high school, everyone-everyone- has different tastes.
Dudesoft
always a dudesoft, never a soft dude.
5376
I'd like to point out that shows like House cater to a large audience, as well as tell Sherlock Holmes stories. I haven't watched much of House, but from what I have seen, House is seldom happy, and always popping pills. Seems more of a young adult show than something my dad would watch.
And at the same time, I don't imagine House being a character study. I think it's more of a tale, or plot. Every week is about solving a mystery, right? (all speculation. Only watched two or three episodes.)
I won't dispute there are exceptions to these rules; however, this is not my opinion. The rules about outcome are actual guidelines popular shows follow.
This really wasn't bad at all; I liked a lot of it but there was 1 part that really caught me the wrong way:
If your audience is younger or kids; then making a CHANGE = Happiness. Your character will be happier or better off.
-You kill the drunk, and your wife/husband is extremely turned on by the violence and you have an incredible sex life for ever. (Hopefully this is not a kid's book.)

If your audience is teenage or young adult; then being RESOLUTE = Sadness. Your character will be unhappy or worse off by sticking to their guns.
-You run away from the drunk, and your wife/husband leaves you for the drunk. You're divorced, and a coward.

If your audience is old adult; then being RESOLUTE = Happiness. Your character will be happier and better off for sticking to your guns.
-You run away from the drunk, the wife/husband sees how psychotic the drunk is and runs away with you.

If your audience is old adult; then making a CHANGE = Sadness. Your character will be unhappy or worse off by changing their ways.
-You kill the drunk in turn and the wife/husband is afraid of your change and you are sent to jail for life.


Since when does the age of your audience justify a major generalization? There are older cynics out there (Being resolute in pacifism just gets you killed) and there are teenage romantics who think everything deserves a happy ending.

I think you should take a better consideration as to whom your audience is, not what their age is. What sort of people will identify well with your story? Teenagers? Adults? Sure, there might be that sort of category. But what about other things? Cynics? (Think House for example). Romantics? Guys? Girls? Not just their age.
author=Dudesoft
Yeah, thanks dude.


My pleasure.


author=Dudesoft
...If they buy a movie ticket, they go in expecting certain things (like you were discussing in your article.)


And if you violate those expectations, or worse: lie about the story's genre, and/or leading characters, the buyer gets Pissed. This is bad because disgruntled buyers WILL tell everyone they know about it. Word of mouth is a powerful thing, especially now that one has access to the entire world via the internet.

Case in point: Brahm Stoker's Dracula. It was marketed as a Horror. It wasn't. It was a Romance with horror trappings. A LOT of people were royally pissed that it wasn't the straight Horror they were expecting.


author=Dudesoft
I've noticed this decision/outcome trait A LOT while watching Smallville recently. ... Is the writing stellar? Hell no. Did it last eleven seasons or so? Yeah... So, that means people kept tuning in to watch a predictable show because it fulfilled their expectations.


Bingo. Buffy the Vampire Slayer did the same thing. It worked for its target audience; young adults, because it followed that exact premise: YAs adore changes that bring Angst.


author=Dudesoft
-- Then something like Franklin the Turtle, kids enjoy it because Franklin changes his ways / learns a lesson and everyone is happy.
-- In something like 007, meant for middle-aged men, 007 comes and goes without changing his ways, and he gets laid for it.


Exactly. Then you have the "family" stories with Child leads and Adult leads where the child learns a lesson BECAUSE the adult doesn't change. Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang illustrated this perfectly, if not a little heavily, with several Bad Adults for examples. The Harry Potter series and Spiderwick are more modern examples. The Sixth Sense does too, even its a horror and Not meant for children at all.
Dudesoft
always a dudesoft, never a soft dude.
5376
author=OokamiKasumi
DAMNED good essay!
-- I like how you broke everything down to its simplest components; bite-sized, chewable pieces, so that that could easily be grasped -- and used. The examples were perfect.

The choice of your character is decided by the target audience you are writing for! Not what the character or story demands.


This is the gods' honest truth, even if you only plan to release your work ton a small free game/story site. An audience is an audience. Paying for it or getting it for free does not change this. Your main character will always be the deciding factor over who downloads it.

Yeah, thanks dude.
My teacher was adamant about the point on target audience. If someone buys a pair of shoes, they don't want them misbalanced. If they buy a movie ticket, they go in expecting certain things (like you were discussing in your article.)
I've noticed this decision/outcome trait A LOT while watching Smallville recently.
Almost every episode Clark discusses his choice to not tell someone his secret identity; and every episode he decides not to tell anyone, and every episode he gets hurt and/or is emo suffering.
Clark is just one example... There's a lot of that going on. Is the writing stellar? Hell no. Did it last eleven seasons or so? Yeah... So, that means people kept tuning in to watch a predictable show because it fulfilled their expectations.
Then something like Franklin the Turtle, kids enjoy it because Franklin changes his ways / learns a lesson and everyone is happy.
In something like 007, meant for middle-aged men, 007 comes and goes without changing his ways, and he gets laid for it.
DAMNED good essay!
-- I like how you broke everything down to its simplest components; bite-sized, chewable pieces, so that that could easily be grasped -- and used. The examples were perfect.

The choice of your character is decided by the target audience you are writing for! Not what the character or story demands.

This is the gods' honest truth, even if you only plan to release your work ton a small free game/story site. An audience is an audience. Paying for it or getting it for free does not change this. Your main character will always be the deciding factor over who downloads it.
author=Dudesoft
Max, feel free to teach us in your own article. This is what I was taught. Different people write different ways. This is the way my teacher writes. It's interesting to me especially, because I've always been of the opinion to let the characters write the story.


We share the same beliefs.
Dudesoft
always a dudesoft, never a soft dude.
5376
Don't worry, Link. This is just his way of saying he's read an article.

Max, feel free to teach us in your own article. This is what I was taught. Different people write different ways. This is the way my teacher writes. It's interesting to me especially, because I've always been of the opinion to let the characters write the story.
Max McGee
My name is Legion: for we are many.
8567
Warning, this article is filled with factually inaccurate, confusing, and misleading information.

Sorry, but...what professional teachings, exactly? Or should I say whose professional teachings? A lot of this conflicts with what I've read/been taught/have observed/is obviously true.

A plot is most certainly not a kind of a story, it is an aspect or piece of most or all stories. Specifically "Plot is a literary term defined as the events that make up a story, particularly as they relate to one another in a pattern, in a sequence, through cause and effect, or by coincidence." This is the actual dictionary definition, and also the correct one most kids learn in English class from Middle School onwards.

A tale is not a specific category or type of story. It's just a vague synonym for story. That said, this one isn't as inaccurate as the rest as there are a few recognizable types of tales that correspond to your general description.

A sketch as you defined it is...arguably...a kind of story, but it's one that works best in a format that has nothing to do with comic books or video games. The other, more relevant definition of sketch is basically synonymous with character study which you already covered.

A monograph is absolutely not a kind of story. It is a specific kind of piece of writing, but is not usually a story or fiction at all. Specifically a monograph is "a work of writing upon a single subject, usually by a single author. It is often a scholarly essay or learned treatise, and may be released in the manner of a book or journal article. It is by definition a single document that forms a complete text in itself. An author may therefore declare her or his own work to be a monograph by intent, or a reader or critic might define a given text as a monograph for the purpose of analysis. Normally the term is used for a work intended to be a complete and detailed exposition of a substantial subject at a level more advanced than that of a textbook. Monographs form a component of the review of literature in science and engineering."

Out of the five "Types of Stories" you listed, only one of them--character study--is actually a type of story. So congratulations, you correctly identified one type of story...out of five attempts?
Pages: first 12 next last