Trigger Happy

Did you know that fiction stories have a predictable arc?

The first part is stasis, or the reality.  The character is in their reality and is living through it.  Think Cinderella before the ball, or Opal before she meets Winn-Dixie.  Then there is a trigger, something or someone that sparks the protagonist into the story’s quest.

Today I taught my 4th and 5th graders about this arc.  I used this website that I found through another slicer recently:

http://www.dailywritingtips.com/how-to-structure-a-story-the-eight-point-arc/

It was hugely interesting to teach to my students studying fantasy fiction, coming off of our historical fiction unit.  Now I’m obsessed with noticing the triggers in all of my books and the occasional binge watch on TV:

  1. the owl message in Harry Potter
  2. the wardrobe to Narnia
  3. the tornado to Oz
  4. the Winn-Dixie market
  5. the brown bomber car in Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963.
  6. Winter is Coming!  (Game of Thrones)
  7.   How many more triggers (sparks to adventure) can you come up with?

 

 

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