Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:45 am Post
Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:16 pm Post
Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:53 pm Post
pigfender wrote:Thanks Hugh, Yes, Blake Snyder. I've read and enjoyed both his original Save the Cat, and the sequel (more of a cash-in really, but still fun) Save the Cat Goes to the Movies. Even more the case with Save the Cat Strikes Back. Yet, I think Snyder tapped into something fresh and somewhat true.
A key distinction between Blake's stories and what I'm trying to get to is that Blake wasn't trying to make a definitive list of all types of story. He was giving a template people could follow that would help them hit all the elements that audiences expect from certain stories. I'm trying to classify everything, without judging on quality. That said, it's a useful list of certain types of story, so we should make sure we've covered them all! Hmm, maybe. It's a list, not necessarily the definitive list, of types of story which seem to have traction in front of vast audiences on a worldwide scale. Worth considering, at least, alongside rival lists or treatments from Booker, Field, Campbell and others. At least, these are types of story, which, because of their ubiquity in popular culture, may give cues, possibly subliminal, that novelists and other story-tellers would be wise to be aware of.
Monster in the House: Yup, that's in there as Story>Crime>Monster (which could equally apply to a serial killer or a supernatural demon).Yes, but… a monster needs a confined space for a story. Monster on the Prairie? I'm not convinced. But Alien in a Spaceship? Godzilla in a Metropolis? That's better. And Blake also highlights in such tales the almost religious role, of sin. (Personally, I'm a fan of sin.)
Whydunnit: Well, I've called it the whodunnit. Maybe I should change that category to Who/Whydunnit? Is it just me who thinks whodunit is quite boring these days? But whydunit - the endlessly fascinating material of human motivation - much more interesting. Think of Seven.
Golden Fleece: We have in as Story>Quest. I'm not sure Road Movie deserves a separate sub-division, simply because it happens to be set in a car / on a horse. Thoughts? Golden Fleece implies to me a journey by any means, and also the episodic, disconnected nature of such a journey - a genre title with meaning if ever there was one.
Rite of Passage: has a lot of overlap with Coming of Age, although RoP seems wider / slightly distinguished. Perhaps instead we have "Personal Growth" (or similar) as a story and CoA and RoP as subs?Hmm - lots of rites of passage involve stages in life other than coming of age - and as well as successful growth, they need to include failures to grow. (Isn't there a Jack Nicholson movie that illustrates this point?)
Out of the Bottle: Depending on how the story is told this could either be a Quest or a Personal Growth? Hmmm... maybe Personal Growth (and therefore Coming of Age and Rite of Passage) should be a subset go Quest rather than off on it's own? So we have Story>Quest and then underneath that: RoP, CoA, MacGuffin and Save/Free the Community? What do people think? Does that ring true? Isn't the key element in this genre magic? (Of whatever kind - not just Harry Potter, but also Big and Liar, Liar?)
Institutionalised: The idea of a man vs the community I'd folded up into Frontier/Western, but I suspect I do need a better name for it. Suggestions? The classic example here is One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, but there are also all those army (e.g.A Few Good Men) and schools stories.
Superhero: I'd argue that this isn't a Story at all, but a Reality. Admittedly, most of them have the same Story (that of Crime>Monster).Isn't the story usually provided by the hero's/heroine's weakness - see the early Superman movies and Christopher Nolan's Batman series? But I agree - if no weakness, then no story.
Buddy Love: Again, I'm not convinced that this is a 'story'. A buddy movie, is just a movie with two characters. The "boy and his dog" sub-category in Blake's Buddy Love is just another Personal Growth / Coming of Age tale... but with a specific catalyst. Romance, of course, we have already covered. No, I disagree - in terms of story, Butch Cassidy and Lethal Weapon go through the same phases as Love Story, and the phases are the story.
Dude with a Problem: The title here pretty much describes every book ever written, but the point of Blake's category is the ordinary person with an extraordinary problem. Die Hard and the Terminator being two examples (although "Die Hard and the Terminator" is a movie I would totally go and see).Me, too. Still Terminator is essentially just a SciFi Monster movie and Die Hard is really the 'man vs community' idea I mentioned in Institutionalised, above. That this is one of Snyder's weaker categories - agreed, could even be called a catch-all for what won't fit elsewhere - but I've difficulty seeing that Brucie in DH is 'institutionalised' - it does seem to me that he has a problem, which, for an action movie, is reasonably sophisticated, involving his marriage as well as Alan Rickman.
The Fool Triumphant: I'd say this isn't a Story/Plot, as such, as simply a particular subclass of humour? No - think Forrest Gump, which for some primal and story reason worked as a movie, and indeed, worked as a novel before it was a movie.
Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:01 pm Post
Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:19 pm Post
pigfender wrote:Wikipedia (effectively) defines Urban Fantasy as a fantasy set predominantly in a City. Feels a bit too weak a distinction to justify a separate genre classification to me, but then I'm not really very educated when it comes to fantasy. Still, it seems to have emerged as a class of story that people deliberately seek out, so I'll add it as an offshoot of low fantasy.
Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:50 pm Post
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