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Author Topic: Sources of Story-telling Enrichment  (Read 2154 times)

Offline The Gem Cutter

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Sources of Story-telling Enrichment
« on: September 15, 2016, 07:29:00 AM »
EDIT: Braincramp! I should have started this under the Resources section, but it didn't occur to me. Maybe a Mod could move this? Or delete?   I wanted to start a thread discussing resources that enriched your ability to imagine and portray compelling stories, characters, settings, situations, and moments.

I have several, but arguably my favorite and the most influential to me is Robert Greene's 48 Laws of Power.
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_2_5?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=48+laws+of+power&sprefix=48+la%2Caps%2C243

The Laws themselves are very Machiavellian - in fact, more Machiavellian than Machiavelli.

You can literally go through the list of laws he presents, and itemize the strategies of the denizens of Game of Thrones, your company's executive team, and pretty much anything else featuring ruthless people going for the gold. The author presents his laws, and then cites historical examples of people (famous and unknowns) who broke the law to their doom, or adhered to the law to their success. Interestingly, many figures (like Napoleon) are shown as masters of some, rubes of others.

Now, one caveat: I do not ESPOUSE the principals, any more than I advocate King Joffrey's leadership style - but to survive in the world, it helps to know what the undesirables are doing. And to depict a world full of intrigue, this is a hugely useful resource. And a fun read, too.

Want to see an example of a truly ruthless woman with no compunctions?  Read this book and keep an eye out for the queen/concubine from ancient China. Forget Cersei Lannister - she was weak by comparison.

The historical footnotes in the margins are arguably as entertaining as the laws themselves. Colorful characters include Miyamoto Musashi, Napoleon, a variety of kings and generals, and a host of unknowns who are just as interesting.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2016, 08:43:15 AM by The_Gem_Cutter »
The Gem Cutter
"Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There's always the possibility of a fiasco. But there's also the possibility of bliss." - Joseph Campbell

Offline MammaMamae

Re: Sources of Story-telling Enrichment
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2016, 12:07:07 PM »
Oh, boy, over the years...

* Archtypes: Marie-Louise Von Franz, and also Paul Evdokimov, a theologian who was my focus in graduate school, and who delved pretty deep into Jungian waters as well.

* Fairy Tale Theorists: Bruno Bettleheim, Marina Warner, Jack Zipes.  Vladimir Propp's Morphology of the Folktale has been particularly influential to the structure of my WIP.

* Original source folklore: Grimm, yes, but I also really value Swedish Folk Tales by Bauer and Lundbergh, Russian Magic Tales from Pushkin to Platanov from Penguin Classics, Russian Fairy Tales by Afanasyev, and Howard Schwartz's books on Jewish Mythology.  The colored fairy tale books compiled by Andrew Lang.  And the Eddas, of course.

* Essays: Ursula K Le Guin's essays were foundational for the way I look at fantasy, the way I write, and my worldview in general.  Of particular influence are "From Elfland to Pougkeepsie", the "Bryn Mawr Commencement Address," and "Woman/ Wilderness." 

* Children's Literature: There are a few deliberate Shout Outs to Maurice Sendak , Astrid Lindgren, and Elsa Beskow in my WIP.  And reading children's literature aloud I think is great for developing prose because there is just so much reveling in the language and so little adult inhibition.

And TV Tropes.  Lots of TV Tropes.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2016, 12:15:35 PM by MammaMamae »

Offline Raptori

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Re: Sources of Story-telling Enrichment
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2016, 12:50:08 PM »
You'd probably like this thread:P
I wish the world was flat like the old days, then I could travel just by folding a map.

Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: Sources of Story-telling Enrichment
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2016, 07:11:56 PM »
Why yes, @Raptori , I believe I would  ::)
The Gem Cutter
"Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There's always the possibility of a fiasco. But there's also the possibility of bliss." - Joseph Campbell

Offline Kaybee

Re: Sources of Story-telling Enrichment
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2016, 08:15:30 PM »
I've enjoyed these books (I found them in used bookstores):

A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe: The Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art and Science, by Michael S. Schneider

and

The Secret Vaults of Time: Psychic Archeology and the Quest for Man's Beginnings by Stephen A. Schwartz
“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”
-- Philip Pullman