rules-of-summer-cover

On the surface, this story is simply a list of rules. Can a list of rules be a story?

Does this picturebook — more like a coffee table book of art in some ways — follow the universal seven steps of narrative, as outlined by John Truby?

STORY STRUCTURE

WEAKNESS/NEED

Two brothers are faced with a long summer and they must learn to entertain themselves and how to get along.

DESIRE

They want to have fun

OPPONENT

Each other

PLAN

They turn everyday situations into imaginary scenarios

BATTLE

Notice the pictures get darker. Especially the skies.

They have a fist-fight. The older brother wins. The younger brother feels isolated as he waits for an apology.

SELF-REVELATION

If he waits long enough, the older brother will eventually come back to him. This is a snowy, cold landscape.

NEW EQUILIBRIUM

The boys sit together on the couch looking at the TV.

 

Sure enough, this story is a complete narrative.

So what are the real rules of summer? Play together. Use your imaginations. Work out your differences.