Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Seven Rules for Cardboard Kingdom Stories
Ruritania is a small kingdom....
Thought this might be interesting for Imagi-Nation builders. I was re-reading "Prisoner of Zenda" and in the Introduction to the edition I was reading was a quote from a Raymond Wallace, who called such novels of small imaginary kingdoms "Cardboad Kingdom" novels, and had 7 rules for these stories:
1. The Fictitious Country - small, and preferably a Monarchy
2. The Crown (or Government) is threatened....
3. The Wicked Uncle - there must be a Villain who is an uncle, half brother, nephew, regent etc
4. The Intervening Stranger - a foreigner, typically British or American (typically from the author's home country).
5. The Remarkable Coincidence
6. The Chase
7. The Duel
To which I would add
8. The Love Interest/s
9. The Map - no story these days can be without a map.....
He notes that the form of the story typically has more to do with the culture, values and ideologies of the author, however.