January 13, 2014
Today’s Writers’ Tip
Plot Number 12: TRANSFORMATION
The Red Badge of Courage
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde
Pygmalion (My Fair Lady)
My guess is that you’ve read all these books or you’ve seen all these movies (representing this subgenre) and thought they were mesmerizing. Of the three, the chick flick, My Fair Lady, is one of my all-time favorite movies.
But why are these books (movies) so appealing to the human heart? Let’s analyze the Transformation Plot and see what an author has to incorporate into the story to keep the readers on the edge of their seats:
1. The plot of transformation should deal with the process of change as the main character journeys through one of the many stages of life.
2. The plot isolates a portion of the main character’s life that represents the period of change and moves from one significant character state to another.
3. The story concentrates on the nature of change and how it affects the main character from the first page to end of the experience.
4. The first dramatic phase relates the transforming incident that propels the antagonist into a crisis, which starts the process of change.
5. The second dramatic phase often depicts the effects of the transformation. The plot is about character; thus, the story concentrates on the main character’s self-examination.
6. The third dramatic phase contains a clarifying incident, which represents the final stage of the transformation. The character understands the true nature of his/her experience and how it has affected him/her. This is usually the point of the story when true growth and understanding occur.
7. Often the price of obtaining that wisdom is a certain sadness.
So, are you ready to tackle a Transformation Plot? You now have the tools to start your novel or revise one that maybe you thought was only good for File 13. Perhaps you can transform your own writing style as you work on a Transformation Plot and come up with something really worth publishing. (Yes, you can!)
Next time we’ll look at fiction plot number 13: Maturation
All information compliments of:
Tobias, Ronald B (2011-12-15). 20 Master Plots (p. 189). F+W Media, Inc. Kindle Edition.
(I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in writing good fiction in any subgenre!”)