|The Hunger Games - a modern quest story|
Emily has an assignment to plot out a quest novel (what a cool teacher she must have!) and write the last chapter. This is very good timing for me, as I needed a Q word for today.
The Quest is a common story structure involving a character on a search for... something. It can even be an internal something (forgiveness, confidence, etc). Or it might be a literal quest (find the holy grail, return the sword of Okinesphere to its rightful place, save a princes). Often this is referred to as The Hero's Journey. Basically the 'hero' (they might not start out very heroic) will receive a 'call to action' (sometimes a shove) and be on their quest, with some magical help/advice from a wizard/elder. They will face challenges, opponents and bad hair days. The story will peak when they are in their darkest time (down a pit, facing an uber-bad guy, or just apparently failing all over) it will seem there is no hope for our hero to succeed. But then they find that inner strength/forgotten sword of Okinesphere/Bad guys secret weakness to overcome this doom and gloom stage and rise up to fight one more time. The final battle usually ends in success (but not always) and the hero returns to the start of the story, only this time changed forever in some way.
There are whole books dedicated to this structure and I sometimes use it for my writing workshops for kids.
This is a must see learning site - you can choose your characters and fill out the story prompts to plot out your hero's journey. Designed for school kids, but awesome for any writer, especially beginners wanting a helpful push. Check out:
And here's a chart you can fill out for your own Hero's Journey - just click on it for the full size and print (I found this at ReadingArt.Info):
If you like the picture of Katniss Everdeen, you'll love this blog that shows how The Hunger Games fits the Hero's Journey. After all, Katniss answers a call to action when her baby sister is put in danger.
The Gallery of Heroes - Katniss Everdeen
How would you go with Emily's assignment - could you write your last chapter first? I've never tried it before, but sounds like a challenge!