magistrate: The arc of the Earth in dark space. (Default)

I mentioned this over at [community profile] allbingo, but I'm working on a bunch of challenges to get me thinking about short-form plot. Basically, I'm taking the following plot structures:

Six Short-Story Beats
  1. A situation
  2. A complication
  3. A sense of motion
  4. A crisis (which defies some expectation)
  5. A change in direction
  6. A resolution

The Seven-Point Plot Structure:
  1. a character,
  2. in a situation,
  3. with a problem,
  4. who tries repeatedly to solve his problem,
  5. but repeatedly fails, (usually making the problem worse),
  6. then, at the climax of the story, makes a final attempt (which might either succeed or fail, depending on the kind of story it is), after which
  7. the result is “validated” in a way that makes it clear that what we saw was, in fact, the final result.

The Hero's Journey:
  1. The hero is confronted with a challenge,
  2. rejects it,
  3. but then is forced (or allowed) to accept it.
  4. He travels on the road of trials,
  5. gathering powers and allies, and
  6. confronts evil—only to be defeated.
  7. This leads to a dark night of the soul, after which
  8. the hero makes a leap of faith that allows him to
  9. confront evil again and be victorious.
  10. Finally, the student becomes the teacher.

Three Short-Story Essentials
  1. Require the character to make a choice,
  2. show that choice by actions, and
  3. those actions must have consequences.

...three of which I found discussed at Philip Brewer's blog, and one of which I put together after thinking about successful short stories on my own.

I'm trying to take these structures and write extremely short stories/synopses with them – using one sentence for each point in the list.

I'm also finding it surprisingly difficult.

But I figured that while I was striving and trying new things, I might as well put the results up for people to see (and quite possibly best :P ). Just to keep things organized in this post, the card I'm using is below, and I'll link my fills for the squares.

Situation: Deliverance
Setting: Forbidden Zone
Complication: I Told You So
Situation: Revolt
Setting: Spy School
Complication: Out of Ammo
Situation: Abduction
Setting: Bug War
Complication: Hopelessly Outnumbered
Situation: Self-sacrifice for kin
Setting: Torture Cellar
Complication: Keep It Safe from Them
Situation: Daring enterprise
Setting: Elevator
Complication: Something Went Click
Situation: Self-sacrifice for an ideal
Setting: Genius Loci
Complication: Are You a God?
Situation: Pursuit
Setting: Inside a Computer System
Complication: Stranded in a Blizzard
Situation: Obtaining
Setting: Underground City
Complication: Caught in Bed Together
Situation: Ambition
Setting: Abandoned Laboratory
Complication: On Fire
Situation: An enemy loved
Setting: Hotel California
Complication: It Looks Hungry
Situation: Crime pursued by vengeance
Setting: Red Light District
Everything Is Spiders
Situation: Involuntary crimes of love
Setting: City of Canals
Complication: Pinned by a Boulder
Situation: Recovery of a lost one
Setting: After the End
Complication: Hull Breach
Situation: Conflict with a god
Setting: Prehistory
Complication: It's a Bomb!
Situation: Remorse
Setting: Youth Center
Complication: Stumbling in the Dark
Situation: Crimes of love
Setting: Golden Age of Piracy
Complication: Snake Pit
Situation: Adultery
Setting: The War Room
Complication: It Happens to a Lot of Guys
Situation: Slaying of kin unrecognized
Setting: Last Fertile Region
Complication: I Thought You Brought It
Situation: Rivalry of kin
Setting: Opium Den
Complication: No Parachute
Situation: Enmity of kin
Setting: Sapient Ship
Complication: Falsely Accused
Situation: Discovery of the dishonour of a loved one
Setting: Herland
Complication: Knife in the Back
Situation: Supplication
Setting: Cardboard Prison
Complication: Locked in with Monster
Situation: The enigma
Setting: Galactic Sargasso
Complication: Only One Spacesuit Left
Situation: Erroneous judgement
Setting: Death World
Complication: ... 05 ... 04 ... 03 ...
Situation: Fatal imprudence
Setting: Bazaar of the Bizarre
Complication: Naked in Public
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magistrate: The arc of the Earth in dark space. (Default)

January 2017

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