to have studied
For her presentation, she took apart the structure of the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale, mapping it out visually to show the various elements that are used, such as the basics of the plot; the catalyst that activates the plot, which must be resolved; the power various characters have or haven’t; the boundaries and thresholds of the story; the bright and dark spots in the narrative; strategies used by the characters to achieve their goals; and so on.
The rendering of the fairy tale into its various parts was Awesome (to use our grandson’s favorite word). But what was most significant for me was her discussion of the power structure in the piece. I have been stuck in a short story for a month. It took me five tries to find the right opening and, usually, once I have that, the rest of the story flows. Not this time. The story was flat and I couldn’t figure out the problem until I saw Lynne’s mapping of the power structure of the characters. There it was in front of me. I had no power structure in the piece, therefore no one character dominated. There was no one to fight against and overcome, because by the end of a story, the power structure must reverse. The example in Hansel and Gretel: at the beginning, the stepmother has the power and is at the top, while Gretel is powerless at the bottom; at the end, Gretel has the power and is at the top, and the stepmother is dead.
There was my solution. As soon as I sign off, I’m going back to that story and figure out the power structure I need to successfully complete the story.
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