Freytag’s Triangle to the Rescue
September Speaker:Nick Mamatas
– David Baker
Your novel or short story starts in the wrong place, sags in the middle, fails to generate a gripping climax, and leaves a tangle of loose ends. After months of denial, you’ve recognized the symptoms of a structural deficiency but can’t find cure. Enter Gustav Freytag. In his book
Technique of the Drama
(1863), the German critic offered a method of analyzing plots derived from Aristotle's beginning-middle-end concept that came to be known as Freytag's Triangle or Freytag's Pyramid. Today’s writers still employ the iangle but disagree about how many parts it has and how to label them. the
PR News 3
Berkeley Branch Moves Forward 5
Fortunately for us, Nick Mamatas, our featured speaker for the September 16 meeting, has given the problem some thought. In an essay posted on
, he stresses: “rising action caused by a sequence of attempts and failures, while concurrently a set of revelations slowly illuminate the original cause of the dramatic action. Then there’s a climax, and a brief unwinding of the emotional tension caused by the conflict’s resolution.” Mamatas adapts the triangle to his own writing, which includes
raftian Beat road novel nominated for both the Bram Stoker and International Horror Guild awards; the suburban nightmare novel
Under My Roof
the Civil War ghost story
, also a Stoker nominee; and more than thirty short stories. His editorial work has won him a Bram Stoker award as well as World Fantasy and Hugo award nominations.
, a dark fantasy featuring a bullied kid and the Hellenic goddess of discord, is his latest novel, published August 14, 2012.
September Speaker 1 Annual Picnic Food & Fun 2 Poetry Page 4 Highlights from CWC’s July CB Meeting
Marketplace & Tidbits 8 NEW Pub Bytes 9 Holiday Lunch 12 Call for submissions 13
9/1 Monthly Writers Contest
Submission Deadline 9/15
: speaker– Nick Mamatas
10/14–20 California Writers Week
Our monthly meetings are free and open to the public and feature
a speaker, an author
event, or both.
In the writing classes he teaches, Mamatas lays out basics. But he continues to wonder: “Can writers do different things with their stories—create new points of view, structure words on the page differently, work to achieve certain effects not easily accessible with more common presentations?” For answers to this question and to others you might have about story structure, come to the September meeting.
The Berkeley Branch meets from 2:00 – 4:30 on the third Sunday of every month September through June
in the Bradley C. Walters Community Room of Oakland’s Main Library
125 14th Street 94612 Entrance on Madison Street (wheelchair accessible)