Next workshop from the Write Stuff: The Power of Premise with James Frey.
An example of a premise: Love leads to insanity (through a chain of causal events [jealousy]) - Othello's premise
Drunken slob leads to religious enlightenment (drunk, lose job, lose family and kids, get divorced, attempt suicide, seeks help, AA, finds religion)
Honesty leads to ruin.
Premise is not a moral.
Irony: man drowns wife, collects insurance money, buys a boat, goes out sailing and drowns.
Knowing your premise is a tyrant (because it helps you to focus on what scenes you need and don't need)
Elements of a dramatic story:
- Dramatic Character
Theatrical, extreme of type.
Governed by a ruling passion (which can change throughout the story)
- Dramatic Struggle
Don't have to be life or death
Honor, marriage, love
Never have a static character.
All transforming characters have a premise.
Alcoholism destroys love - plot premise
He triumphs alcoholism (MMC premise)
She doesn't. (FMC premise) (An example of a character with a changing ruling passion: first love of husband, then love of alcohol, he gets her into drinking)
Next blog post will be about How to Write Damn Good Prose (again from James Frey)