Fictional Worlds I: “Create Your Own World!” is a motto of visionary artists. We all enjoy escaping into, and journeying within, fictional realms. Some aspire to create their own unique artistic worlds. "Fictional Worlds" is intended for all readers who love literature and film, especially for writers, filmmakers, and game designers, from beginners to seasoned professionals. The book points at new ways of navigating, exploring, and creating entrancing fictional universes. The four-book set aspires to make its readers more confident fictional world travelers and compelling storytellers. A holistic and evolutionary study of narrative from ancient rituals, myths and fairytales to the current day, it blends a creative and intellectual approach to writing. The themes of journey, the Wonderworld, quest for knowledge, death-rebirth, conflict resolution, family and community are at the core of this inquiry into the nature of narrative, its politics and poetics. Teaching nuts and bolts of writing fiction, this book set connects the cultural dots in the trajectory of the dramatic arc, elucidating the power of storytelling. With Odysseus as a guide, "Fictional Worlds" is a journey through the landscape of narrative traditions, emerging practices and artistic debates. Book I focuses on the Hero’s Journey, action-adventure, sea voyage, the road movie, fantasy, and Sci-Fi, explaining how to write for the genres. Books II-IV explore drama, mystery, comedy, transmedia storytelling and poetics of tomorrow.
“A brilliant book... Ranging across the globe and throughout history we have here a dazzling survey of the intellectual foundations and possibilities of the cinema. Must-reading for anyone interested in how and why we tell stories on screen.” –– David Desser, author of "Eros Plus Massacre: An Introduction to the Japanese New Wave Cinema," coauthor of "American Jewish Filmmakers”
“A new theory of narrative which I find convincing and uplifting. Illuminating and useful anthropological theory of genres. Terrific choice of examples as well as the analysis. ‘Dos and Don’ts: Creative Solutions for the Formulaic Plot’ will be immensely helpful to practitioners. Among interesting ideas: the murder mystery—as tragedy in reverse! And the role of film noir. ‘Ulysses as a Peter Pan for grownups’!! — I love it!” –– Linda Hutcheon, Distinguished Professor Emerita, University of Toronto, author of "A Poetics of Postmodernism," "The Politics of Postmodernism," "A Theory of Parody: The Teachings of Twentieth-Century Art Forms”
“An innovative approach to teaching screenwriting, based in original scholarship of real importance. Impressive originality and practicality... exemplary clarity. Dr. Alexander does a splendid job making a case for the new and more productive understanding of genre. There is much to recommend this fine volume, the writing is generally elegant. The part on mystery is so brilliant... worthy of a semester’s study.” –– R. Bruce Elder, author of "Harmony and Dissent: Film and Avant-Garde Art Movements," "DADA, Surrealism and the Cinematic Effect”
“There's much I admire about "Fictional Worlds" starting with the project of bridging between narrative theory, anthropological perspectives on myth and ritual and screen studies. I've never seen the books addressing Joseph Campbell's ‘Hero's Journey’ in the exhaustive detail and with the nuance that Alexander deploys here, and with such a rich array of examples. What I admire is Alexander's insistence on historical and cultural specificity while tracing connections in the stories that have emerged across times and cultures.” –– Henry Jenkins, Professor, University of Southern California, author of "Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide,” and coauthor of "Spreadable Media”
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