Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Narrative Mode: #7 Cinderella plot

Cinderella plot: simplicity
Writing a modern Cinderella story is quite popular.  The simplicity of it makes for an easy plot and that increases the opportunity to add complexity to it.

  • Life is good between the two people, and the one dependent they have is healthy and happy.  [I am keeping this vague because like many of the other narrative modes, you can enlarge this one to encompass the business world, economics, politics, etc.  Imagine two political allies and their constituents.]  All is well until one suffers a death (political or personal).  
  • So a separation of some sort pulls the two apart.  The dependent must cling to the one who is left.  But he (or she) takes on a new partner, one certain to embrace the dependent.  All seems well in this change of events.
  • Until the original caretaker also dies.  Now the dependent is at the mercy of the replacement, and that individual is not the trustworthy person (business, system, etc.) that was first assumed.
  • Life gets very difficult for the dependent.  She (he, they) suffer greatly, must complete menial tasks in order to remain in this relatively safe condition.  The dependent loses hope and thinks she will never rise out of this lowly position.
  • Until opportunity arrives.  A young man (or new comer with high ideals) must make a connection and through the acts of individuals or groups who have sympathized with the plight of the dependent finds him or her or it.
  • They struggle with various difficulties that pull them apart. Then the magic moment, and life is sweet and promising again.
It does not take a girl, her father, step-mother, step-sisters and a prince to make this narrative work.  Any number of things can replace this simple story framework and add complexity.

 The Little Handbook of Narrative Frameworks available on Smashwords and Amazon.

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