I found these tools online by searching “character, writing tools” through Google. Some of these are actually meant for students to map/study an already published text, but I see no reason why we can’t also use them to analyze our own work.
Drama Map: this is a smiple organization tool to help with character, conflict, resolution, and setting mapping. Not the most detailed, but if you are working scene-by-scene, this could actually be very useful. Plus, it’s always fun to work with pretty graphics.
Circle Diagram: another way to map out scenes (or your overall plot) is to use the circle diagram theory. The idea is that you place the beginning at the 23:55 and the ending at say… the 00:05 position (if we’re thinking clocks). Then, you put the exact center of your plot at the 12:00 position. Keep filling in with plot twists, etc, and when you’ve filled the sides of the circle, you can start drawing lines across it. This allows you to draw on information that only you as the author knows early in the plot, and have it relate to something much later.
General Themes that (almost) all stories start from:
*The journey there and back.
*Winning the prize.
*Winning or losing the loved one.
*Loss and restoration.
*The blessing becomes the curse.
*The wasteland restored.
*Rising from the ashes.
*The ugly duckling.
*The emperor has no clothes.
*Descent into the underworld.
I’ll return later with quick summaries of all the books I’ve been reading. I sort of fell behind on my reviews. Such is the life of a student. Or rather, such is life.