This is a good illustration of metanarrative from a Christian perspective.
This is a good illustration of metanarrative from a Christian perspective.

Well, I’ve run into a question that I haven’t found the answer to yet. I’ve started my new workout program this week, and today was ‘leg day.’ This involves four exercises: squats, leg press, step-ups, and sit-ups. Now, squats and leg press seem like the same general movement to me. One is done from a seated position and the other from a standing position, but still the same general movement. However, today was my first leg day and I was feeling things out, so I wanted to max myself as much as possible. I found that, at the end of four sets, 110 pounds was about my max for squats (which is pretty pathetic), but in four sets I got up to 250 pounds on the leg press and honestly could have kept adding weight, but I didn’t want to wear myself out before I got to my other exercises. So, I’m going to have to ask a physical trainer what the difference between squats and leg press is. Also, these were free weights, not resistance weights, so it wasn’t simply machines with differently calibrated resistance. Anyway, it’s time for a plot challenge, and I have something new for all of you… or at least, a little different. This week’s post and next week’s post are going to go together. This week I want you to put together a general metanarrative for your story. You’ll need to figure out the following:

  1. Your genre: is this story a fantasy, sci-fi, urban fantasy, spy fiction, mystery, modern adventure, etc?
  2. Your theme: what ideas do you want to explore? Politics, relationship, metaphysics, criminal psychology, theological questions, mystical questions, etc?
  3. Your major setting: what nation, country, locale, village, apartment building, etc is your story set in? Consider that some novels/movies/etc have taken place in elevators… literally, the entire story… in an elevator. Others take place over an entire galaxy.
  4. Your main characters: who is your protagonist? Is he a hero, an anti-hero, a villain, something else? Who is your antagonist? What is his plan and purpose?
  5. Your major supporting characters: who is your protagonist close to? Your antagonist? What major people will help shape the story?
  6. Growth: how will your main characters/world grow over the course of the story? What is the beginning? The middle? The end? Pick out three specific, major events that you want to be the landmarks of your story.

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