Wednesday, September 08, 2010

WRITER'S WEDNESDAY: The Dual Fantasy Plot Arc

You know how sometimes work gets overwhelming, so much so that it takes every last ounce of energy from you? Yeah, that's me right now. So I'm stealing this post from my personal blog to share with you guys here!

During the 2009 LA SCBWI conference, I had the amazing opportunity to hear Holly Black give her keynote speech on writing Fantasy.

Within the the speech she gave us insight into her belief that in fantasy there are dual story arcs - one for the human story, and one for the fantastical. The novel starts and ends on a human note, but the fantasy arc peaks later than the human:

I think this holds true for mythology, paranormal, and fantasy - and it's definitely true in my manuscript! I can clearly see these two story arcs. What about you?


  1. I hate to admit this, but I think I'm confused...

  2. I get it, I think! My subplots are usually more "human", and often get introduced and wrapped up at a different time than the more "fantasy" part of the main plot.

    Like the love-interest wrap up isn't going to occur at the same time as the main final conflict.


  3. I guess she means there are two storylines running parallel to each other and the fantasy peaks after and sorts itself out before the human one. My MS works that way. Nice observation, but my question is, what does that mean? Are there implications if it doesn't fit the description? Most importantly, though, are there any other gems that you learned from her?


Breaths that matter...

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