I’m completely obsessed with reading about structures, about tropes, about the basic underlying bones of things. I don’t use it in my own fiction, I don’t plan out and structure things, but I love reading about them. I constantly flip through Plotto, and TVTropes, always reading about 7 or 10 basic plots or 5 basic characters, about archetypes, about mythology, about the morphology of folk tales…all of that. The categorization, the taxidermy of complex interwoven things.
And I like the ones who are looking at things from the outside rather than the inside. Like, I don’t like “how to instructions” but rather “here’s what X did”. The structural things, these basic boiling down. Turning everything into a list of things, of concepts, it’s all so abstract. It floats around, and none of it really sticks when you really really think about it. But it can be a fun time sink, to read about how things are built, how things are structured.
These narratives are all kind of like dreams anyway after all.
Anyway, like I said. I’m not wandering around looking for a way of constructing, but rather I look into seeing how people have categorized other people’s plots and characters and the likeylike. Kind of like, fuzzy, indistinct, floating ideas, just unconnected, but there, there, floating around. All of these cliches and concepts and building blocks.
I also snagged The Tough Guide to Fantasyland. Which is very funny. It’s like tv tropes, but for epic fantasy. Although not as loving a take down, this is far more critical in its dissection. The purpose isn’t for love of form, but rather for a desire of change.
Anyway, yes. This formalism is interesting, albeit only surface level interesting.