Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Narrative Mode ~ #15 Sleeping Beauty

I like sleeping beauty because I always felt my own mother lived a life that fit a large part of this framework. She was a classic good girl who thought life as a secretary would be made to order.  It had some challenge, and she did well and even did some modeling on the side.  But life lost excitement, had no adventure for her. She did travel, but it was basically from her parents to her grandparents.  Boredom set in ,and she felt trapped, almost asleep while life went on around her.  And then the dashing engineer arrived interviewing for a position at the company where she worked. They grew close and soon she was learning how to pilot a plane and traveling to Cuba and other South American countries.  After five years of adventuring, they married, had children and well, lived  happily every after.

The basic plot is easy to lay out:

  • A girl is born and the family sees danger in her future.
  • They protect the girl by limiting her interaction with others
  • She is innocent of the danger and trusts everyone
  •   The dangerous situation takes place and…
  • She falls into a deep sleep due to the backlash of the measures taken to protect her. 
  •  Another stranger arrives and breaks through the protection to awaken her
  • She then lives happily ever after.

Simplest way to adapt this to a modern story is to make the protection and its affects a metaphor.  Imagine her innocence as a type of sleep.  She is unaware of life outside a set locale and group of people.  The protection is a valid and necessary one, and she will face that danger too, but she can also come out of that sleep through an activity, through meeting someone or through a physical or mental challenge.  She will struggle to gain a sense of understanding and then finally reach the moment of complete awareness.
This one is not particularly demanding as frameworks go, but for simple bones and easy adjustments to bring in complications, it is a nice one.

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

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