Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Wednesday's Writer's Tip - More From Orson Scott Card
The fourth type of structure for a novel is the Event Story. These thoughts are spurred by How To Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card. Just what is an event story. This is an epic story,
Something has gone wrong in the world, a dire event. The king is dead. The war has begun. An oath has been broken. A monster arises. Though there are events in many of my stories they are not the total life changing happenings like those in an event story. I have written one and the opening line of this story portends what will happen. "We have been betrayed." These words send four young teens into the world fleeing disaster and evil. This story is a fantasy but there are other tales in literature that are event stories. The event has occurred and the world of the characters is in chaos.
An event story ends when a new order has been established. Occasionally the old order is re-established or in rare instances chaos rules. In these stories often the triggering event isn't even mentioned. In my story the triggering event for the change is the birth of the two sets of twins, each with an affinity to one of the elements rather than they having affinities to all four like those before them.
Many times these stories start with prologues with lengthy explanations of the past events. These aren't usually necessary and often skipped by readers. The action should begin with the focus character or character, plunging them into the story and showing the results of the triggering event rather than going inch by inch through that event.
As Orson Scott Card says when you write an Event story, begin small and gradually introduce the larger picture of the particular world. Let the reader know and empathize with the hero, heroine or the focus characters.