This class was all about Plot.
We worked around a circular diagram. So, if you want, draw a circle on a piece of paper. At about where the 9 would be on a clock, draw two lines. Label the one closest to 12 "Cage" and the other one (below it) "Home."
You character's journey starts in the Cage - something is confining them, holding them back, keeping them from going on their quest/personal mission/road to fulfillment. This is where your plot beings.
From this point, we move around the circle clockwise. At about 12 o'clock, draw a line and label it "Quest." Now, you can have many markers like this along the path, which are the events moving your plot along to the central conflict. Which means at about 6 o'clock, you need to draw a line and label it "Dragon." This represents the climax/boss fight/revelation of the story. Now, you can have small dragons (smaller conflicts and fights/struggles) along the way, but there should be one event/scene that is the biggest and most important of them all.
From there your plot goes the rest of the way around to Home - essentially, back to where you started, but your character is no longer confined to the cage that was around them when the novel started.
Another thing to remember within your plot is what Pam called the "call the adventure," which is exactly what it sounds like. The moment that the plot gets moving. It can be a phone call or a kidnapping. Your protag gets fired or your hero gets the news that their kingdom is under attack. Something to kick start the action and get your plot off the ground.
This concept (the circle pattern) is based on The Hero's Journey by Joesph Campbell. I found a website that has a diagram - different than Pam's, but the same general idea. It has a few more steps built it, but interesting take a look at.
As you might imagine, our exercise was to write a scene in which your protag (or another character) receives the call to adventure.
Fun stuff. Since I had already wrote Kelder's call to adventure in chapter 1, I opted to work on Telleo's call to adventure. A very fun exercise, and for homework we need to expand it into three pages.
Extra Credit: How to know when you're being "that guy" and should stop.
- You preface your question by saying "Because I have a Masters in this."
- You debate each answer the teacher gives by saying "But I learned this another way in my Masters classes."
- 90% of your classmates are openly laughing and mocking you.
- The teacher actually says "I don't care what you do" after five minutes of giving you detailed responses, and THEN YOU STILL KEEP ARGUING.
Be kind to your classmates. Don't be that guy.