The Hobbit By J.R.R. Tolkien
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The Hobbit By J.R.R. Tolkien

A Story Grid Masterworks Analysis Guide

Shawn Coyne, Leslie Watts

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eBook - ePub

The Hobbit By J.R.R. Tolkien

A Story Grid Masterworks Analysis Guide

Shawn Coyne, Leslie Watts

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About This Book

Bilbo Baggins, an altogether respectable hobbit, had never done anything unexpected-to say nothing of heroic-until he met a wizard in a blue pointed hat. After that meeting, Bilbo embarked upon an adventure, recorded in the pages of The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, that captured the imagination of readers around the world.

With unparalleled skill, Tolkien forged scenes of physical courage, revelatory self-transformation, and spiritual transcendence that do more than entertain-they help us make sense of the world.

In this Story Grid Masterworks Analysis Guide, Shawn Coyne examines Bilbo's transformation and Tolkien's craft through a powerful new lens, the Heroic Journey 2.0, revealing how stories help us survive, thrive, and find meaning individually and as a species. Using this lens, writers will learn to create the emotional catharsis readers crave and tell stories that cross barriers of time and culture.

Bilbo's unexpected journey beautifully illustrates the human imperative to keep going, to break and remake our worldviews in a search for truth. But in the end, readers and writers may agree with Coyne that, "There is no final truth, only the creative act of meaning-making in the here and now."

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Information

Year
2020
ISBN
9781645010500
Edition
1
1

AN UNEXPECTED PARTY

SCENE 1
1965 words

“In a hole in the … had escaped adventures very well”

Summary: Gandalf visits Bilbo Baggins at his home in the neighborhood of The Hill.
STORY EVENT
A Story Event is an active change of a universal human value for one or more characters as a result of conflict (one character’s desires clash with another’s, or an environmental shift changes the value positively or negatively).
A Working Scene contains at least one Story Event. To determine a scene’s Story Event, answer these four Socratic questions:
1. The Action Story Component: What are the characters literally doing—that is, what are their micro on-the-surface actions?
Bilbo greets a visitor to his home.
2. The Worldview Story Component: What is the essential tactic of the characters—that is, what above-the-surface macro behaviors are they employing that are linked to a universal human value?
Gandalf is trying to entice Bilbo to go on an adventure. Bilbo is not interested in an adventure and wants the visitor to move along.
3. The Heroic Journey 2.0 Component: What beyond-the-surface universal human values have changed for one or more characters in the scene? Which one of those value changes is most important and should be included in the Story Grid Spreadsheet?
Gandalf has been greeted warmly and invited back.
Welcomed to Rejected to Invited
4. The Scene Event Synthesis: What Story Event sums up the scene’s on-the-surface actions, essential above-the-surface worldview behavioral tactics, and beyond-the-surface value change? We will enter that event in the Story Grid Spreadsheet.
Gandalf pays a morning visit to Bilbo Baggins, who turns down his offer of adventure but accidentally invites him to come for tea the next day.

HOW THE SCENE ABIDES BY THE FIVE COMMANDMENTS OF STORYTELLING
Inciting Incident: A stranger comes to the door.

Turning Point Progressive Complication: The wizard corners Bilbo into agreeing to or declining an adventure.

Crisis: Best bad choice. If Bilbo agrees, he’s in for hazard. If he doesn’t agree, he’ll offend a wizard.

Climax: Bilbo declines the offer.

Resolution: To soften his rejection, Bilbo invites Gandalf for tea.
NOTE
  • This is the Global Inciting Incident of the Heroic Journey 2.0. Here, an unexpected event or Invisible Phere Gorilla presents a growth opportunity for Bilbo, but he doesn’t see or understand what the invitation means because of his current worldview.
SCENE 2
6,278 words

“The next day he had … day, when he woke up.”

Summary: The dwarves and Gandalf arrive for tea and discussion and stay for quite some time.
STORY EVENT
A Story Event is an active change of a universal human value for one or more characters as a result of conflict (one character’s desires clash with another’s, or an environmental shift changes the value positively or negatively).
A Working Scene contains at least one Story Event. To determine a scene’s Story Event, answer these four Socratic questions:
1. The Action Story Component: What are the characters literally doing—that is, what are their micro on-the-surface actions?
Bilbo is entertaining a large group of dwarves and a wizard.
2. The Worldview Story Component: What is the essential tactic of the characters—that is, what above-the-surface macro behaviors are they employing that are linked to a universal human value?
The guests are recruiting Bilbo for an adventure, which he is resisting.
3. The Heroic Journey 2.0 Component: What beyond-the-surface universal human values have changed for one or more characters in the scene? Which one of those value changes is most important and should be included in the Story Grid Spreadsheet?
The dwarves are having difficulty recruiting Bilbo until they insult his pride.
Sociable to Rude to Convincing
4. The Scene Event Synthesis: What Story Event sums up the scene’s on-the-surface actions, essential above-the-surface worldview behavioral tactics, and beyond-the-surface value change? We will enter that event in the Story Grid Spreadsheet.
The dwarves and Gandalf arrive at teatime and take over Bilbo’s house, slowly manipulating him to seriously co...

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