Story Theory

The QUEST of Genre

I have written about Romance, Internal Genre, Action/Adventure, etc, and the more I think about different types of stories, the more I am convinced that every story is attempting to solve one of 2 questions. 1 question is internal, the other is external. The QUEST is universal and exists in every story, because every story is attempting to solve 1 of 2 problems, and must do so through QUESTioning. There are 2 Basic Types of… Read More »The QUEST of Genre

Reclaiming Catholic Culture through Classic Literature

An Interview with StAR Magazine’s Editor, Joseph Pearce You may know him as the acclaimed expert on J.R.R. Tolkien, or you may know him for his Ignatius Press critical editions of the classics, but Joseph Pearce is also the dedicated editor for St. Austin Review (StAR), a publication comitted to reclaiming culture. Getting to Know the Great Works of Our Civilization is Akin to Embarking on a Great Adventure Joseph Pearce The magazine centers on… Read More »Reclaiming Catholic Culture through Classic Literature

Archetypes in the Classics

“Archetype: a recurrent symbol or motif in literature, art, or mythology.” Dictionary.com I love archetypes! It comes from the fact that I see the world through the lens of narrative, and so I love finding the themes and ties that bind the world together, and make stories possible. Archetypes do just that! They present the basic ways in which we can and do relate to the world around us, and the ways that other individuals… Read More »Archetypes in the Classics

Fairy Tales: More Real than Real Life

Heralding a Distant Truth To write of fairy tales is, as J.R.R. Tolkien once asserted, “a rash adventure.” For fairy tales are enigmas, difficult to define and impossible to believe. And yet we believe them, because they are ultimately more real that real life. They offer us a glimpse of a distant, approaching reality that we cannot see. This is by far the most important aspect of the fairy tale. It is what makes it… Read More »Fairy Tales: More Real than Real Life

Avengers Succeeds at Building Trust with Their Audience

Isn’t it a wonderful thing when you can trust someone to tell a good story? I tell you, there’s nothing like trusting your entertainment to someone. You wouldn’t think it would be such a big deal – but it really is! We are only human, and we get upset when a story is told badly. When it’s full of clichés, or the action doesn’t flow properly, or the characters are impossible to connect with… So… Read More »Avengers Succeeds at Building Trust with Their Audience

Coming of Age (or Internal) Genres

So, before I continue on the path of laying out each individual genre in this continuing series [Romance, Action/Adventure, and Mystery], I think it’s good to take a moment to talk about the category ‘Coming of Age’. This is the Internal Genre, where the story is driven by the hero’s personal struggles, rather than a villain they must defeat.By ‘Coming of Age’, I do not mean a teen romance. I’m willing to bet that, when… Read More »Coming of Age (or Internal) Genres

Why Legolas is Unnecessary

Literary Panic So, I called my brother in a literary panic the other day.Let me explain. I have realized that I read books differently than most people. Even, possibly, differently than most authors – though I don’t personally know enough authors yet to confirm this.I like to read in order to hone and perfect my own writing. So I read masters.I tend to avoid anything that is subpar in every way.If something is popular, I… Read More »Why Legolas is Unnecessary

Action/Adventure Genre

Action/Adventure is an EXTERNAL GENRE.External Genres, as opposed to Internal, are primarily driven by a problem that comes up outside the person, and solving this problem results in the end of the story.The problem usually looks like a large-scale villain. Someone the protagonist has to face off against and prevent them from doing permanent harm to the world.Mystery, Horror, Thriller, Comedy – these are all External Genres. However, it is HOW these stories are told… Read More »Action/Adventure Genre

Romance

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a post about genre, and I think it’s overdue.Romance is another of the simple genres, so I’m going to get that one out of the way with this post. Most of us could say right off the bat what a romance genre is. Romance begins with two people who are not in love, and who are in some way closed to falling in love. Usually their problem is internal,… Read More »Romance

Mystery Genre

The mystery genre is pretty straightforward. It begins with the main character and the audience not having all the information, and by the end of the movie, they have all the answers.Some films that fall into this category are,Sherlock HolmesMurder on the Orient ExpressRear WindowThere are other films that seem to fall into this category, but do not. Such as the Bourne Trilogy, Memento, The Fugitive, and Minority Report. These have mysteries in them, but… Read More »Mystery Genre