The Book of Plots
This is a primer of useful plots for storytellers, writers, and any professional (lawyer, minister, CEO) who needs to craft facts and themes into an engaging whole. If you want to expand your narrative horizons, this will get you started. Using variations of "Jack and the Beanstalk" and original stories from the author's repertoire, it examines the construction and limitations of ten narrative forms, including revelation, meta-narration and parallel plots. Developed and tested in workshops over the course of a decade, this text contains helpful formulas for each plot form and useful exercises for making stories.
Inviting the Wolf In: Thinking About Difficult Stories
A difficult story is any story whose content makes it challenging to tell or difficult to hear. Told for the wrong reasons, it can be as painful for the listener as for the teller. But we know from literature and media from Sophie's Choice to The Sixth Sense, told properly, a difficult story can powerfully alter not only he who tells it, but those who hear it.
How can we tell the stories of wickedness and loss, sorrow and grief? What stories are we not telling, and why not? How do we respectfully engage our audience and get to the core of a story's meaning? How can we learn from our troubles and share them in a way that helps others learn and grow?
Niemi and Ellis begin with the assumption that it is essential and beneficial to tell difficult stories. Stopping our ears or stilling our tongues will not make tragedy go away; rather, the first step in ending suffering is to name it for what it is. Inviting the Wolf In has three essential elements:
This is a book for storytellers, ministers, therapists, social workers, human service professionals, lawyers and teachers-indeed, all readers who deal with those in crisis and confusion.
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