Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Universal Story Plot (Quotes)

In Musings and Meditations, Robert Silverberg describes “the essential story themes that underlie nearly all fiction:”
A sympathetic and engaging character(or an unsympathetic one who is engaging nevertheless), faced with some immensely difficult problem that it is necessary for him to solve, makes a series of attempts to overcome the problem, frequently encountering challenging sub-problems and undergoing considerable hardship and anguish, and eventually, at the darkest moment of all, calls on some insight that was not accessible to him at the beginning of he story and either succeeds in his efforts or fails in a dramatically interesting and revelatory way, thereby arriving at new knowledge of some significant kind.
Later in the book, Silverberg continues on this theme:
Joseph Campbell, in his classic book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, showed how all tales of heroic struggle fulfill the terms of what he called the “monomyth,” the basic story of stories: “A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are then encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.”

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