I think story analysis is a huge part of learning the craft of writing, and I think it's a great tool for students to use, as they are constantly asked to analyze what they are reading. Analysis also helps when having to formulate ideas for stories as well.
So as a writer of character driven stories, I naturally look to the characters within the story to analyze it first. By always looking at character first, I dissect the story, using the characters as the foundation and building up from there.
For example, we know the character arch is an illustration of how the character changes within the story, but how do they change, and why do they change? To answer these questions, we need to ask ourselves, what does the character want? The main character will risk it all at some point for what? What is that one thing that means everything to the character? And finally, do they get what wanted at the beginning of the story or did they figure out by the end of the story, they really didn't want what they thought they wanted? Or, did they have what they wanted all along, but didn't realize it until the end of the story (when they're done learning their character lesson)?
For example, in the very beginning of the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy wants out. She wants to be in a better place. And by the end of the story, she realizes she was in a good place, she had everything she ever wanted at home, she just didn't realize it. So her want really was about feeling at home within herself, which became her character arch, her lesson.
Any writing questions you're dying to ask, from story analysis to the mechanics of writing to the life of a writer? Drop me note in the comments section or send me a message on my Facebook page (click on my photo at the right).
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