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It’s raining.

Here’s a rant on story structure.

Sadly, a solid grasp of story structure is something that’s missing from a lot of modern science fiction and fantasy–which is a shame, because that’s my favorite genre.  So today I’ll tell you about THE PRINCIPLE OF CIRCULARITY. This is a rather important concept. You see, in a story, events usually take place. These events build up to a climax, where we know the story will end. Thus, tension builds.

But in many stories, this tension is just thrown carelessly aside.  As an example, the first five minutes of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. We see good guys. And a bad guy. They fight. The good guys win, capture the bad guy…and the bad guy escapes. WHAT? We’re being set up to watch the same sequence over again. We’re right back where we started, and all the dramatic tension has evaporated like a snowcone in Baja.  The principle of circularity is this: The same sequence cannot happen more than once in any one story. The anime Bleach does this. A lot. Do I still enjoy it? Yes, but only because of the explosions. The movie Serenity does this–as did the original TV series Firefly–in the movie, for example, we have the “sailing through the Reaver field” scene twice.

So: Don’t do this, please. Just check your story, before you make it into a movie. Make sure that you don’t have the same sequence occuring multiple times. Because it’s painful to watch.

Well, that marks the end of the rant. Here’s a picture of a goldfish.

Happy Holidays!



  1. My goldfish.

  2. No, MY goldfish. 😡

    • NO! (cries uproarusly) Mama, he’s twying to steaw mi gowdfis’! An’ it MY gowdfis’! D:<


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