The Cat Returns Storytelling Notes
The Cat Returns is a 2002 feature-length anime about a teenage girl who is transported against her will into a feline fantasy world after saving a cat’s life. Writer Aoi Hiiragi also wrote the script for Whisper of the Heart. This is a sort of sequel to that, where the main character writes this story. In written form, this is an ‘urban…
The Woods At The End of Autumn Street by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry is an American children’s author, best known for The Giver. The Woods At The End Of Autumn Street is an upper middle grade novel set in WW2 America. The following biographical information feels relevant to The Woods At The End of Autumn Street: Born in 1937, that makes Lois Lowry the same era/age as Liz in Autumn Street. The…
Twist Endings, Reversals and Reveals In Storytelling
Reversals and reveals are vital for creating momentum and suspense in a story. Certain genres are required to be more page-turny than others, and all children’s literature must be page-turny. So you’ll find reversals and reveals everywhere in children’s literature.
How To Structure Any (Western-style) Story
Combining my study of film, novels, children’s literature and lyrical short stories, I’ve come up with a nine part story structure. Other cultures historically carve up stories differently. For instance, East Asian audiences expect different things from story, and also differ in the amount of work they expect to put in. Not all stories are ‘Complete Narratives’. Mood pieces, character…
Million Dollar Baby Film Study
Today is Curmudgeon’s Day, according to Twitter. (Un)happy Curmudgeon’s Day! In that spirit I will take a close look at a film in which a curmudgeonly old man learns to soften up with the help of an earnest and humble young woman. I first saw this film around the time Million Dollar Baby come out and in my memory it was…
The Others Film Study
Written by Alejandro Amenábar, The Others is an old-fashioned melodramatic ghost story but done very well. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s one of those films that can be ruined in one fell swoop (like Sixth Sense), so leave the building now!
Foreshadowing, Side-shadowing & Back-shadowing
You’ve probably heard of foreshadowing, but have you heard of back-shadowing and side-shadowing? These techniques have nothing to do with each other, other than that they all describe literary techniques and they all include ‘shadowing’ in the term.
The People Across The Canyon by Margaret Millar Analysis
Hear “The People Across The Canyon” (1964) read by Douglass Greene at Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine.
Shirley Jackson’s Louisa, Please Come Home Analysis
“Louisa, Please Come Home” is a short story by Shirley Jackson, first published in Ladies Home Journal, 1960.
The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter Short Story Analysis
“The Bloody Chamber” is a feminist-leftie re-visioning of Bluebeard, written in the gothic tradition, set in a French castle with clear-cut goodies and baddies. The title story of The Bloody Chamber, first published in 1979, was directly inspired by Charles Perrault’s fairy tales of 1697: his “Barbebleue” (Bluebeard) shapes Angela Carter’s retelling, as she lingers voluptuously on its sexual inferences,…