Exploring Alternative Narrative Structure
Aristotle said a story should have a beginning, middle and end, in that order; but how often does life really feel like that? Sometimes to reflect reality we have to challenge old assumptions about how we experience and process narrative. We will explore alternatives to Aristotle’s cherished mountain of rising action, looking at classical music forms, technology, architecture, political systems and biology for potential models. Indeed, no source of inspiration will be excluded. Famous examples of effective use of alternative narrative form will be examined, including Pinter’s Betrayal, Thorton Wilder’s “The Pullman Car Hiawatha,” Italo Calvino’s novels and Paul Mullin’s Louis Slotin Sonata. Finally, we’ll examine our current writing projects and determine how they might benefit from some structural shake-ups.
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