44: Performance Genre Conventions
In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through the conventions of the performance genre. I'm also going to show you how these conventions show up in the movie The Mighty Ducks. Here's a preview of what's included:
[01:15] Performance stories center around a character who wants to achieve something specific in order to prove their worth to the world. For example, they might want to win a certain award, climb Mount Everest, be the best in their field, or be famous.
[01:55] Readers choose performance novels because they are extremely relatable. Every day we deal with the pressure to perform on the world’s stage, and we are constantly faced with decisions that could result in success or failure.
[02:55] Genre conventions are the character roles, settings, and events that are specific to a genre. They’re what help us writers write a story that works AND evoke emotional reactions in our readers.
[04:45] #1 – There is an underdog protagonist who usually has some kind of special gift.
[05:30] #2 – There's a MacGuffin or a specific thing the protagonist wants to get or achieve.
[06:30] #3 – There's a mentor figure with a little bit of baggage.
[07:45] #4 – There's a team of people who support the protagonist.
[08:40] #5 – There are trials or training sequences that help get the protagonist ready for the big event.
[09:55] #6 – The protagonist faces social problems or moral challenges (like bullying or social class divides).
[10:55] #7 – The protagonist faces a worthy opponent.
[11:30] #8 – There's a monkey wrench that gets thrown into the mix just when it seems like victory is in sight.
[12:30] #9 – There's an internal change within the protagonist.
[13:25] #10 – There's usually a bittersweet ending.
[15:10] Key points and episode recap.
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Links mentioned in this episode:
- Episode Freebie: Performance Genre Key Scenes PDF Cheat Sheet
- Performance Conventions: The 10 Things Every Performance Story Needs (article)
- Performance Obligatory Scenes: The 6 Scenes Every Performance Story Needs (article)
- Conventions vs. tropes: What's the difference? (podcast and article)
P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!