WN09 Kishōtenketsu

💎 Rethinking

Chinese and Japanese writers have used a plot structure that does not have conflict “built in”, so to speak. Rather, it relies on exposition and contrast to generate interest. This structure is known as kishōtenketsu.

Kishōtenketsu contains four acts: introduction, development, twist and reconciliation. The basics of the story–characters, setting, etc.–are established in the first act and developed in the second. No major changes occur until the third act, in which a new, often surprising element is introduced. The third act is the core of the plot, and it may be thought of as a kind of structural non sequitur. The fourth act draws a conclusion from the contrast between the first two “straight” acts and the disconnected third, thereby reconciling them into a coherent whole. — still eating oranges

As if I wasn’t having enough trouble working out what the structure for my NaNoWriMo idea…

I don’t know much about narrative, but this sounds like a pop song structure to me. Verse, Chorus (Act 1), Verse, Chorus (Act 2), Middle-eight or B-Section (Act 3), Chorus, Out (Act 4). Sometimes the B-Section is so different you could mistake it for another song out of context.

📯 From the World

  • I’ve been compulsively watching the Reedsy Youtube channel in prep for NaNoWriMo. Their NaNoWriMo page has been a good jumping off point for prep.
  • The Dresden Dolls turn 20! They have a new live set out. I enjoyed the bonus Q&A. Particularly the section on building a scene, inclusivity, and DIY. Brian talked about being inspired by Another State of Mind show what it’s like on a low budget tour in the 80s the punk scene.
  • I’d forgotten how good Deloused in the Comatorium is.

🔥 Alchemy of Creation

NaNoWriMo day one! So far so good. Plan is to get ahead of word count on Sundays and Wednesdays so I have some buffer. Four acts, four weeks? What I hear the 30k mark is the hardest. Let’s see how my writing dramatic arc goes. I have a sketch of an outline, and some scene ideas, mostly for the first half. Is this enough for me to use writing one scene to prep the next? Tune in next week.

My plan hasn’t become much more detailed since last week, but I’ve chewed on some different ideas. I may not have agreed on much more, but I’ve discarded some ideas. Focus by subtraction has been useful. I’ve read the advice "don’t write the boring bits". Which is all well and good, but what’s interesting for a period romance is going to be different than for a cyberpunk thriller. (Or, maybe it isn’t!) I might have to write the boring bits to discover my characters and setting more. Maintaining interest can come in editing.

📍 A Point on the Timeline

It was good to be able to do a colleague’s leaving drinks face to face! Another week later and we wouldn’t.

Cyberpunk Red

I’m not giving much of an update this week. We’ve been playing through the Jumpstart, so I don’t want to spoiler the campaign. The visual wizardry of our GM using Roll20 and the blowback of our street-level incompetence has been fun to share. But this session came straight out of the book. You’re going to have to caption competition this one yourself.

🔥 Alchemy of Creation

NaNoWriMo day one! So far so good. Plan is to get ahead of word count on Sundays and Wednesdays so I have some buffer. Four acts, four weeks? What I hear the 30k mark is the hardest. Let’s see how my writing dramatic arc goes. I have a sketch of an outline, and some scene ideas, mostly for the first half. Is this enough for me to use writing one scene to prep the next? Tune in next week.

My plan hasn’t become much more detailed since last week, but I’ve chewed on some different ideas. I may not have agreed on much more, but I’ve discarded some ideas. Focus by subtraction has been useful. I’ve read the advice "don’t write the boring bits". Which is all well and good, but what’s interesting for a period romance is going to be different than for a cyberpunk thriller. (Or, maybe it isn’t!) I might have to write the boring bits to discover my characters and setting more. Maintaining interest can come in editing.

📍 A Point on the Timeline

It was good to be able to do a colleague’s leaving drinks face to face! Another week later and we wouldn’t.

Cyberpunk Red

I’m not giving much of an update this week. We’ve been playing through the Jumpstart, so I don’t want to spoiler the campaign. The visual wizardry of our GM using Roll20 and the blowback of our street-level incompetence has been fun to share. But this session came straight out of the book. You’re going to have to caption competition this one yourself.

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