Here’s something kind of fun:
Over the years, some have argued that there are only six plots and fiction writers recycle these. Others argue that there are ten or perhaps fifteen. In 1945, Georges Polti published his THIRTY-SIX DRAMATIC SITUATIONS (still available on Amazon) in which he argued that all of literature can be characterized in one of these thirty-six basic plot structures. The highly prolific writer, Robert Heinlein (check him out on Amazon and you’ll see how prolific) argued that there are only three basic plots. In 1993, Ronald Tobias published 20 MASTER PLOTS: AND HOW TO BUILD THEM. Well, are there three, or six, or ten, or fifteen, or twenty?
Ahhhhhh! There is BASIC—as in basic plot structure—and there is SPECIFIC. For the fiction writer, the devil is in the SPECIFIC! But, I love to think about, talk about, write about, and teach all issues related to creative writing.
Couple of more conferences and festivals:
The Montgomery Book Festival is this weekend, Saturday, April 16, in Montgomery. Just a few of the writers who will be there include: Rick Bragg, Mark Childress, William Cobb, Roy Hoffman, P.T. Paul, and Michael Knight—forty writers all totaled. These writers will read and discuss their works. Also, count on music, good weather, food and fun! I’ll bet there’ll be some T-shirts too! Poster artist, Amos Kennedy, will also be on-board. His posters are nothing short of small treasures!
Check out the Indiana University Writers’ Conference—the 71st summer writers’ conference for IU. When: June 5-10. Where: Beautiful Bloomington. The conference is divided into lectures, workshops, and readings. I’ve attended three of these and have loved them. It’s a short conference, but well organized. I loved staying in the Memorial Union. All events take place in the Union, so this makes the conference sooooo convenient. For more info, search Indiana University Writers’ Conference on line or go to www.indiana.edu/~writecon
Recognize good things:
This semester I have had great students in my creative writing class at the University of South Alabama AND great students in The Writers Loft at Middle Tennessee State University AND several great private students. I feel fortunate, privileged, grateful, elated!
Soon, I’ll be announcing some new courses (non-university) I’ll be teaching in my own Writing Center here in Mobile. Some of the first courses will be on basics of fiction writing and other courses will be specifically on plot development and character development. We’ll have other courses taught be other writers too. One of those writers is P.T. Paul. P.T. has some courses on poetry in the works and at least one on writing creative non-fiction. Watch for more announcements about this. Coming soon!
Finally, we are getting a good go on SWEET ANGEL OR DARK MUST: THE WRITING LIFE. The deadline for submissions was January 15. A bout of pneumonia knocked me flat for about five weeks. We are rolling now. If you submitted, we’ll be back with you very shortly.
GOOD WRITING, GOOD READING, AND HAPPY WEDNESDAY!