Names recognized: R.A. Birch placed Silver Honorable Mention. H.L. Reinhold and Kent A. Jones earned Honorable Mentions.
Congratulations to all contestants!
Likewise, David Farland, contest coordinating judge, guest WotF blogger, as well posted a new writing tip "Parts to a Story: From the Inciting Incident to the Denouement." Except for a briefer parts count, five parts, some proprietary terms, and conflation of several features into "conflict," Farland's story recipe more or less comports with past judge Algis Budrys' and with mine.
Burdry's parts number is seven. My parts number is twelve: crisis realization, exposition (per Webster's definition), crisis incitement, action rise, realization crisis, climax ascent, climax crisis, climax descent, tragic crisis, action fall, final crisis, denouement, (per Gustav Freytag's analysis). In any case, my analyses of most every drama narrative entails location of Farland's five parts, as like a five-act play, Budry's seven, my twelve, and others' counts. Anecdote, vignette, or sketch narratives, fewer parts than twelve, more like five or so.
[Edited to list twelfth part first, previously eleven listed.]
Both essays touch upon pertinent points, the cook and chef analogy for writing is powerful, though misses that chefs follow recipes similar to how cooks do, only that an experienced chef knows food science's chemistry, biology, fine art, geometry, and psychology criteria as well as any cook's checklist arranges food less overtly, for emotional as well as metabolic nutrition.
Farland's "subplot" label speaks to an essential criteria for prose, that of dramatic depth, often through "internal conflict," though misses that an intangible dramatic movement entails moral truth crisis, contest, and discovery and is more so what a story is really and truly about than a tangible surface dramatic movement. Not a subplot at all, really, the true plot, actually, and the subtext action congruent to and inseparable from the overt action.
Farland cites Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" for illustration, though misses the close ironic read of the story -- that Brown fails to realize humans are fallible, hypocritical, and becomes a joyless, fearful, and bitter cynic rather than accept he, too, is human and -- well, loosen somewhat his moral compass toward others. Brown becomes the worst of self-righteous hypocrites, trespasses against others' natural and God-given rights to exercise free will's privileges and responsibilities. Afterlife fears of damnation, and self-pride, if not envy's covetousness, at the least, poison his own soul and spiritual growth opportunity in the bargain.
Satire, that -- subtext, not subplot -- which is what moral subtext tableaus bring to story depth from lively narrative multidimensionality.
Thank you! And congratulations to Rebecca and Kent.
I'm going to have to think harder about how to fully incorporate each of those 'parts of a story'. For my last two entries to this contest I've been working right up to the deadline, and haven't given myself enough time to check my story actually fits together.
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