Sunday, July 4, 2010

Organic Structure and Core Events

I guess I could call this part four, since I did three similar posts back when I first started exploring organic structure. I'm currently obsessed, and obsession is a good word--with doing a series of YouTube videos. And because I'm one of those people who'll keep slamming my head against a wall until it (the wall or my head) breaks--I'm using my biggest block of unproductive down-time.


Not that I "don't" work, but--all things considered, they're buying muscle memory. Whether there's a brain attached to it doesn't matter.

During the first video, I did a lot of stuttering. Although calling it stuttering is going at it sideways--it was simply that I was using a bunch of words I normally don't say. Not that I'm memorizing anything, simply doing riffs on a prompt.

Introduce yourself (the whole name, not just, Hi! My name is Jodi)

Tell people what they're watching. (Welcome to Running in the Dark: Organic Structure for Character-driven stories)

What is a core event?

How to find it.



I got all the way up to "...stories" and stopped because I'd never really tried to condense core events into a sound bite. I spent days stuttering (fumbling?) over explanations, saying "characterization" over and over, driving poor Emma nuts.

My thinking out-loud process is a little messy, lol....

Core events are the psychological reason your character reacts--consciously or subconsciously--to story events in a consistent way.

Core events aren't "the" motivation, although motivation flows out of it. And it might--or might not be--the inciting incident. It's actually the sum total of the hero/heroine's upbringing, socio-economic factors, attitudes, family attitudes--and what happens to change or crystallize it for the length of the story.

It's sort of like read-only copy. Core events can't be changed, although they can be re-interpreted later by the hero or heroine, to "show" their transformational arc.

In other words? It's your character's personality matrix. Not all of it, though. Just the part you need to show for your story.


deanna said...

My computer's back from the shop, so I had to come see what you're up to. Hope it continues to be challenging fun.

Kaige said...

See, you're still good at chunking! Never doubted it.

jodi said...

Hi Deanna! Hope you had a wonderful 4th. :) I think it's going to get even better.

lol, Kaige. I was thinking about you. (and your characters) Just wait til the next video. Days of practice. I'm pretty smooth. :) And getting better at explaining.

Kaige said...

Sweet, can't wait. I've actually had them out and been playing with them! I need to put them back on the rack though!