I know, Monday’s are like potholes in the road of life, but I hope that Monday Master Studies will brighten your day and help you build a mentor text resource.
I participated in Arree Chung’s 6-week Storyteller Academy and learned so much! If you aren’t familiar with Arree, he is the author and illustrator of Ninja! (2014), Ninja! Attack of the Clan (2016), The Fix-it Man (2016), Out (2017), and many more wonderful books. Arree, like most of us found his path to writing on a long and winding route. He went from producing lots of spreadsheets to working at Pixar! He has taken his experiences and turned them into a wonderful course for writers called Storyteller Academy. The summer term is already underway, but I encourage you in joining me in enrolling in the Fall session. You can find more information here.
One of the things I learned from the 6- week course is what Arree calls Master Studies. He encourages you to read, read, read! He breaks down the elements of a good story so that you can get better at writing your own stories.
A great story has these elements
· Inciting incident (what event starts the “ball” rolling)
· Escalation (events that build in intensity to the climax)
· Solution (how is the problem solved)
· Theme /Hook (is there a universal theme: friendship, be yourself, etc…)
I have found that making this a habit extremely valuable. I try and complete a minimum of 3 studies a week. Taking it one step further, I created a form to “dissect” the story elements. So they are handy, I print them out and keep them in a notebook as a mentor text resource. I hope that what I have created will help you as well. You can download the Master Studies form I created to use for your own personal study.
Here is an example of my chart for Gemma Merino’s The Crocodile Who Didn’t Like Water (2013).
Each week, I will post the next week’s book so you can study it along with me. So, go grab a copy of The Snurtch, by Sean Ferrell, and we will compare Master Study Worksheets next Monday!