Fantasy novel StructureStructure of a fantasy novel
THE WHOLE STORY STRUCTURE YOU'LL EVER NEED.
While I don't shun many topics when it comes to literature, the structure of history has always embarrassed me a little. Okay, yes, I am teaching an on-line course on Lester Dent's impulse fairy "formula", and I am (unfortunately) fully conscious of the creative side of Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey, but too much "structure" just feel.... for me ice cream in history.
So, how about this as a quick debut that might then get you to structure your own history into whatever way you vote cursed best-hopefully in a way that will surprise and delight folks who give a damn what Campbell says you should do. Evil guy begins the tale, heroes finish it.
That'?s all you'll ever need. I' m a Dune buff, so let's see if Frank Herbert used that structure: St. Paul begins the tale of Dune as an innocent man who moves with his wife and daughter to the peculiar deserts of Arraki. It was not Paul's suggestion, but was triggered by one of the book's rogues, the Kaiser, who had it in for Paul's dad and the more proactive rogue, Baron Harkonnen, as his gun.
Suddenly, the Kaiser (the villain) begins the Dune tale, Paul (the hero) ends it. Hull, in his essay "Protagonist and Antagonist: In Narrative First, "Beyond Hero Charming and Villain" puts both the heroes and the villian in full swing around what he calls a "story goal": Success is the last stage in the solution-phase.
Keep it open and the issue remains far beyond the boundaries of history. That aim will then become a matter of interest to everyone in history. It' not just the protagonist's aim or an aim of another person, but the aim of the group. It'?s an impartial target.
The same applies to Dune, because the aim for everyone is to have complete mastery of the herbs. I don't want to tell an old-fashioned tale of a flawless character versus a sneaky villain. Her " hero" does not have to be a particularly good man.
The antihero is a person who is as faulty or more faulty than most of his or her protagonists; he or she is someone who annoys the readers with his or her weak points, but is nevertheless presented in a sympathetic manner, and who increases humanity's weakness. Who' s to say this guy can't finish the whole thing? I must confess that my fusion of "hero" and "protagonist" may not always be true.
With regard to structure, it sometimes makes good sense to eliminate the history's heroes, or, as some might say, to distinguish between the "main character" (through whom we are experiencing the story) and the "protagonist" (who actually pushes the action to the end), as described in Dramatica:
This is a mixed personality with two tasks: to advance the storyline and replace the public. If we look at all but one protagonist who could act as the audience's point of view in a narrative, the notion of a heroe becomes very muted.
You can see the value of the separation of main figure and protagonist into two different figures in the movie To Key a Mockingbird. Here the figure Atticus (played by Gregory Peck) is clearly the protagonist, but the tale is narrated by the experience of Scout, his little girl. Okay, then nothing as reducing as "the villian begins the tale, the plot ends" will ever appropriately describe all the subtleties and phrases in a well drawn novel, but I think you'll see that the A-line is still going through whether the plot is an anti-hero like Dirty Harry (this tale also begins with the villain) or even in tales where it could be a little bit tricky - Lord.
The robot and his intelligent comrade Fight Club think about who is the main characters and who could be the bad guy, and yet they could be the same personality with two people. Yet it was Tyler Durden who blew up Edward Norton's undisclosed condominium that started the history of Fight Club, and Edward Norton, who shot himself in the brain to murder the demon in him, ended it.
In any case, use these greys, whatever your fantasy can filter, but someone has to begin the tale and that's almost always the "villain", and if your "hero" doesn't finish it, he/she was never the main character of the tale. The New York Times bestselling writer of Annihilation and a large number of other titles, such as The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Writing Monsters.