Over the first two weeks of the Consolidating Your Skills course there’s been reference to the way cinema tells stories and what prose writers can pick up from that. This article discusses how stories work in terms of film, but just about all of it can apply to prose fiction. It’s a long read – so long that you don’t really need to buy the book it promotes – but you’ll recognise many things that regularly come up throughout all of the courses.
It’s also worth looking through the readers’ comments beneath the article where someone points out something that it isn’t mentioned in the article and which I’m always banging on about in classes – that good stories move forward by looking back to earlier ingredients and developing them. There’s even a useful term for this, ‘Reincorporation’, and this little cartoon perfectly illustrates the theory (even if the cartoonist has trouble with his spelling). So, if you hear me talking about marshmallows in class you’ll know why . . .