Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Drama and Rites of Passage 'Shapes"

At the one-day genre course at The Scriptfactory Kate Leys talked about how there are no tick boxes or formula etc to write in either of these dramas. However she suggests what can be useful, is to look at what 'shape' these genres take.

Is characterised by …
group of people facing a crucial pivotal moment in their life. Change needs to happen, could happen, might happen.
Multiple protagonists (which spreads the goal across the range). Varied goals, several different people will have varying goals eg Little Miss Sunshine.
Conflict. Comes from part of the situation, not a bad guy. Comes from whatever it is that happened or is happening. Change. Some of the characters change and some don’t. There are a range of possible reactions. We can see that they've changed (or not).
Goal. People don’t usually begin with a goal – the goal comes along. The goals are met across a range. (often leaving an awful lot of room for what is going to happen after the credits).
Acceptance’ is often the ending. Resolution is often left with us. Eg. Little Miss Sunshine we can see how far they have come even if they can’t.


Will generally have a single protagonist.
Goal – The goal is with us (we have a goal for the characters). They will typically have a goal but it will be nothing to do with what they really need ( their goal is usually a displacement activity, and this activity is usually related to the theme in some way). We can see the character needs something but they can’t.
Conflict. Is internal, generated by themselves.
Change. Will change by going through some kind of rites of passage. They reach a new part of their lives and let go of an old part.
Resolution. We see they’ve achieved their goal. Doesn't have to be a good end - somebody has gone through a rites of passage and now feel whole. They often know they have changed.
Rites of Passage – are usually set in the past, as the characters do not understand their situations and selves immediately. So for eg Stand By Me is a memory, About Shmitd told in letters.

* DISCLAIMER. I'm not the world's best note taker, but I wanted to make these notes available to folk who couldn't make the class or couldn't afford it etc, in the hope someone may find them useful. So if I've got anything wrong, TUFF.

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