Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Narrative Mode ~ #14 Arthurian Legend

Okay, so I thought I was finished with the narrative frameworks, but it turns out I am not.  A few more have come to mind.  Arthurian Legend is a great one to consider as the mythology is quite fluid with a variety of shifts that change who is related to whom and the motivations behind their actions.  T. S. White did a lovely extrapolation of the story behind Arthur with The Once and Future King. But limiting yourself to just Arthur in the height of his kingship leaves plenty to work with, though the early days before he became king are also chock full of opportunity for creating a story about a young boy unaware of his parentage being cared for by a foster father and annoyed by his foster brother as he learns the rules of engagement, be it knighthood, business or modern politics.  However, I am going to focus on the adult Arthur as a framework.
  • A man strong in power and human understanding wants to bring peace to the hierarchy he leads.  
  • He has a beautiful wife and many trustworthy friends who will lay their life down to protect and support him.  They believe that he can shape their world into a place where they all can prosper.
  • But there are undercurrents, past deeds and associations which are at work to pull his kingdom (company, position of authority) down or at least replace him.  The child he had with another woman wants to be recognized as the true heir.  The child's aunt would do anything to undermine Arthur, place the now grown illegitimate son in control and gain power herself through manipulation.
  • Then there is the faithful, most trusted among his supporters who is in love with Arthur's wife.  Does she return the sense of connection or control her desire?  Does it get to be too much for them both?  Do they actually remain true to Arthur despite what others believe and their own strong feelings?
  • When Arthur is forced to face the fact that his wife and his best knight have a long term relationship (you define its actual limitation), he must respond as the others close to him expect and in the action also deal with the insurrection brought on by his son and his half sister.
There is plenty of room in this framework to write in most any genre.  In science fiction, Arthur can be the captain of a ship, the leader of a colony, a business mogul.   A romance novel could just as easily work.  The shift could be made to highlight the wife and the lieutenant as they work through their feelings and their loyalty to Arthur.   A contemporary novel could fly with it as well in the business world or on a ranch.

Key point to remember in the Arthurian Legend is the fact that he is a good man with a difficult job who honestly cares about the people he leads, and what makes him great is also what makes him vulnerable.  He would rather take the bullet than have someone else suffer.  It is his flaw as much as his finest quality.

 The Little Handbook of Narrative Frameworks available on Smashwords and Amazon.
                                                                                • Then there are the other men who pride themselves on their

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