Sunday, 20 March 2011


Words like plot take on a whole new meaning when we toss in the words archplot, miniplot, and antiplot. In the beginning I groaned when they cropped up on the page and flipped over to something more interesting, but now I gather my courage, and read on. Here’s what I’ve discovered:

We all know what a plot is, don't we? Here’s McKee’s definition: ‘the internally consistent interrelated pattern of events that move through time to shape and design a story.’ (Not that I phrased it quite like that, but I get the idea.)
The Classical Design or Arch Plot features a protagonist who struggles against external events to achieve his goal through continuous time to a closed ending with all questions resolved and emotions satisfied. The plot must be consistent and believable. Characters struggle with inner conflicts as well as external events.
A Mini-plot is simple and shorter but retains the main elements of the Classical Design. It is usually but not always described as a Sub Plot, and sometimes leaves an open question at the end. Occasionally it creates irony by treating the main plot in an alternative way. More often, it throws complications into the main plot.

The Anti Plot, sometimes called Anti Novel or Theatre of the absurd, challenges and often contradicts the traditional forms. It often exploits or ridicules formal principals. (I don’t want to go there at all.)
The frogs have nothing to do with plot, just incase yhou were wondering. They've come to my attention because all six of them were having another orgy in our garden pond this morning.
If you are, have ever been, or will be, interested in Tudor Roads, have a look at my blog today on the website.

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