Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 17 Share on LinkedIn 1 Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit 16 Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend (34 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites   2 comments
Articles

The Metaphor is King

By       (Page 2 of 2 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags  Add to My Group(s)

Supported 1   Inspiring 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

storycon.org H3'ed 4/12/09
Author 36
Message
 

If you analyze The Lion King, you will find Hamlet plus this same underlying structure. An evil uncle murders his brother, steals his kingdom and queen, and tries to prevent his nephew, the rightful heir, from assuming the throne. The change of time and place and a change from human to animal do not affect the meaning of the story. They just make it more accessible to children.

 

The underlying motifs of this basic universal story structure are adaptable to any age or time and can be redressed as a hundred different metaphors, depending on the audience you're trying to reach.

 

Using these same underlying structures, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created a unique London for his famous detective, Sherlock Holmes. Dashell Hamett created a San Francisco unlike any other, and William Faulkner created Yoknapatawpha County in Mississippi – a world that was uniquely his own.

 

In short, given a well-constructed and well-told story, the surest way to success is a brilliant and unique metaphor – i.e. you are only as good as the metaphor you create – the new life you breath into the underlying structure. If you can find your own, unique and original world, there will be no stopping you. You will create your own Harry Potter, Godfather, Michael Clayton, or Milk.

My next two articles will be about Genre and Narrative Structure – two other

important dimensions that play a critical role in making the great stories that ride

upon the underlying, universal structure appear different and unique. The genre

governs the plots and subplots, the emotional adventure, and the entertainment

values of the story and arise when you focus on certain dominant qualities or

dimensions. The Narrative Structure governs how the story is told – the arrangement of the incidents, the sequence of events, the emphasis each dimension or quality is given – the central event, central character and central action that comprise the focus of the story and the various points of view by which the events of the story are perceived. This creates clarity and meaning and also power and magic.

 

                                      * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

  James Bonnet, www.storymaking.com, is an internationally known writer, teacher and story consultant. He was elected twice to the Board of Directors of the Writer's Guild of America and has written or acted in more than forty television shows and features. The radical new ideas about story in his book Stealing Fire from the Gods: A Complete Guide to Story For Writers And Filmmakers are having a major impact on writers in all media. His next seven day workshop/retreats in France will be May 24-30 and September 13-19. His next weekend seminar in Los Angeles will be October 10-11.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Supported 1   Inspiring 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Metaphor is King (812 views)

Total Views: 812