Character and Plot Nodes: Writing Fiction With Concept Maps

Straubel, Linda H. (2006) Character and Plot Nodes: Writing Fiction With Concept Maps. In: Concept Maps: Theory, Methodology, Technology. Proc. of the Second Int. Conference on Concept Mapping. Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica, pp. 63-70. ISBN 9977-15-148-2

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Using literary analysis as a starting point, my creative writing students begin by “reverse engineering,” or “disassembling,” stories to analyze how their “parts,” i.e. plot, character, setting and language, fit together structurally. Reading and constructing concept maps of these structures gradually deepen student understanding of both the form and the content of fiction. Midway through this process, we play constructivist “freeze-frame” games with the film As Good As It Gets, for example, to demonstrate to the students how much they already know about story and its character and plot structure. Finally, creative writing students are invited to complete scaffold maps for their own and their peers’ nascent stories to complicate their characterization and plot structures. While this work establishes that literature and writing also have their domain, content and structure, despite the misapprehensions of many, it also enhances our students’ ability to weave a convincing tale from the “characters” and incidents of their own lives.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Paper, CMC2006
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
P Language and Literature > PE English
Depositing User: Mr. Ernest Prats
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2012 16:35
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2012 22:03

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