Robert McKee A creative writing instructor widely known for his popular ‘Story Seminar’, which he developed when he was a professor at the university of Southern California. Rather than simply handling “mechanical” aspects of fiction technique such as plot or dialogue taken individually, McKee examines the narrative structure of a work and what does or does not make the story compelling. This work could equally as well as an analysis or for any other type of genre or form of narrative, whether in screenplay or any other form. It could also encompass non-fiction works as long as they attempt to “tell a story”.
Vladimir Propp Vladimir Propp once said that fairy tales could be studied and compared by examining their most basic plot components. He developed an analysis that reduced airy tales to a series of actions performed by the ‘dramatis personae’ elements, which he simply called ‘functions’. He said that these elements consistently occurred in a uniform sequence. Based on a study of one hundred folk tales, Propp devised a lost of thirty-one generic functions, proposing that they encompassed all of the plot components from which fairy tales were constructed.
Use of ‘Proppian analysis’ reveals that Vladimir Propp’s claim that fairy tales do in fact share several similarities as far as basic plot elements go.However, attempted ‘Proppian analysis’ of several tales reveal that his claim of a uniform plot progression does not hold. Propp’s analysis also fails to recognise components such as mood, characterisation and writing style. According to Propp, a cohesive story can be formed by connecting a series of any set of the thirty-one functions in any order. This project explores this component of Propp’s argument by randomly generating a fairy tale from selected functions. Each functions have several passages written specifically to express that chosen function, the generator will randomly select one passage for each selected function. While each passage appropriately expresses its respective plot element, the tone, characters and settings may vary. The randomly generated fairy tale demonstrates that it is necessary to consider several other elements besides the plot components in order to create a cohesive and well-written tale.
Tzvetan Todorov His historical interests and writing have focused on such crucial matters as the conquest of ‘The Americas’ and ‘The Nazi and Stalinist Concentration Camps’, he has published a total of 21 books. Todorov suggested that conventional narratives are structured in 5 stages:
State of equilibrium at the outset
Disruption of the equilibrium by some form of action
This type of narrative structure is very familiar to us. In the James Bond movies for example a megalomaniac usually creates the disruption by attempting to take over the world. Once this is recognised Bond is despatched by M and most of the film is taken up with stage four before finally finishing at stage five.