Wednesday, June 05, 2002

Everything I Ever Wanted To Know About Mythic Structure I Stole... – er....uh – Borrowed From The Lord Of The Rings

By George Lucas

Lay out your epic in a trilogy format. There is something balanced and almost mystical about the number three. People will think you are deep.

Follow these basic guidelines for general structuring:
Part One - Introduce the characters and set out on the quest.
Part Two - Things tend to go rather poorly for the heroes. Split them up and end on a down note.
Part Three -The heroes' darkest hour, and yet a glimmer of hope remains. Resurrect some ancient practices and save the day.

The "main" character(s) should be little more than locals – everyone like to see the Everyman win. He, she or they should also have some strong – if unknown – connection in the past to the larger events of the world. Usually this involves a relative. A powerful heirloom might be handed down to the one(s) about to undertake the quest.

The intrepid band of heroes should be lead by a wise old lore- master (possibly with mystic powers) who should "die" at the end of the first part. He is allowed to show up later in the story either because he did not actually perish or he can walk the earth again as a wisdom- imparting phantom.

To really drive home that "down note" at the end of Part Two, take one of your favorite characters and either kill him (her) off or leave him (her) in such a state that their ultimate survival in the future is VERY much in question. In other words: BIG CLIFFHANGER ENDING.


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