99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style

Overview

99 Ways to Tell a Story is a series of engrossing one-page comics that tell the same story ninety-nine different ways. Inspired by Raymond Queneau’s 1947 Exercises in Style, a mainstay of creative writing courses, Madden’s project demonstrates the expansive range of possibilities available to all storytellers. Readers are taken on an enlightening tour—sometimes amusing, always surprising—through the world of the story.

Writers and artists in every media will find Madden’s ...

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Overview

99 Ways to Tell a Story is a series of engrossing one-page comics that tell the same story ninety-nine different ways. Inspired by Raymond Queneau’s 1947 Exercises in Style, a mainstay of creative writing courses, Madden’s project demonstrates the expansive range of possibilities available to all storytellers. Readers are taken on an enlightening tour—sometimes amusing, always surprising—through the world of the story.

Writers and artists in every media will find Madden’s collection especially useful, even revelatory. Here is a chance to see the full scope of opportunities available to the storyteller, each applied to a single scenario: varying points of view, visual and verbal parodies, formal reimaginings, and radical shuffling of the basic components of the story. Madden’s amazing series of approaches will inspire storytellers to think through and around obstacles that might otherwise prevent them from getting good ideas onto the page. 99 Ways to Tell a Story provides a model that will spark productive conversations among all types of creative people: novelists, screenwriters, graphic designers, and cartoonists.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
In 1947, French novelist Raymond Queneau published his virtuoso Exercises in Style, 99 variations on a brief, mundane story about two chance encounters. Queneau reframed the tale in every conceivable way, presenting it in different tenses and different voices, even as a sonnet or a telegram. In 99 Ways to Tell a Story, Matt Madden applies Queneau's useful exercise to a visual narrative. He transforms a single pallid tale, morphing it into an advertisement, a sign, a template, viewing it from every possible angle. He intends it to serve as "an exploration of storytelling to inspire your creative writing -- your novel, your comic or film, even your cookbook."
Publishers Weekly
Retelling the same one-page comic 99 different ways sounds boring, but Madden, a leading proponent of the value of formalist exercises, demonstrates how well boundaries can drive creativity, inspired by the similar work of Raymond Queneau. A new discovery awaits the reader on every page. The basic scene is a nonstory about a man who forgets why he's looking in the refrigerator. In the variations, new elements are introduced and removed: different characters, more panels, fewer closeups, flashbacks, text-only or a focus on sound or color effects. Madden acknowledges the history of the medium with allusions to various genres and characters (including the Yellow Kid, Krazy Kat and Winsor McCay's Rarebit Fiend). Favorites include a how-to on building a comic, a palindromic story that reads the same backward and forward, and a calligram (with text formed into a question mark shape). The book's format is ideal, with each page of comics facing a small identifying label, so approaches don't compete with each other, yet pages placed in sequence add up to another narrative. Anyone interested in comics or storytelling will learn much about the interaction between format and content through comparison of Madden's many ingenious approaches. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596090781
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/25/2005
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 434,508
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.13 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Matt Madden started self-publishing minicomics in the early 1990s. He published his first graphic novel, Black Candy (Black Eye Books), in 1998, and in 2001 published Odds Off (Highwater Books). Madden lives in Brooklyn with his wife, author and cartoonist Jessica Abel. He works in comics and illustration; he also teaches comics at the School of Visual Arts and Yale University. His latest work appears in A Fine Mess, his biannual series published by Alternative Comics.

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Table of Contents

99 Ways to Tell a Story Introduction

Template
Monologue
Subjective
Upstairs
A Refrigerator with a View
Voyeur
Sound Effects
Emanata
Inventory
How-To
Welcome to "Exercises in Style"
Retrograde
Tense
Flashback
Déjà Vu
Unreliable Narrator
Dailies
Political Cartoon
Photocomic
Underground Comix
Manga
War Exercise
Exercises in Love
Fantasy
Plan 99 from Outer Space
High Noon
Police Procedural
Humor Comic
Furry
One Panel
Thirty Panels
Plus One
Etcetera
Opposites
Reframing
Inking Outside the Box
Palindrome
Anagram I
Anagran II
After Rodolphe Töppfer
A Newly Discovered Fragment of the Bayeux Tapestry
What Happens When the Ice Truck Comes to Hogan's Alley
Exorcise in Style
Dynamic Constraint
Ligne Claire
Superhero
Map
ROYGBIV
Exercises of a Rarebit Fiend
Esk Her Size and Style
Homage to Jack Kirby
Exercises in Closure
Public Service Announcement
Paranoid Religious Tract
Cento
Two-in-One
Digital
Graph
In Case of Exercises in Style
Storyboard
Brought to You by . . . Calligram
No Pictures
Personification
The Next Day
Nested Stories
Overheard in a Bar
Happy Couple
Unhappy Couple
A Life
Around the World
The Critic
Evolution
Creationism
A Lifetime to Get to the Refrigerator
Actor's Studio I
Actor's Studio II
Horizontal
Vertical
Extreme Close-Ups
Long Shots
Extreme Zoom
Things Are Queer
Isometric Projection
Our House
One Horizon
Too Much Text
No Line
Silhouette
Minimalist
Maximalist
Fixed Point in Space
Fixed Point in Time
What's Wrong with This Comic?
Different Text
Different Images
No Refrigerator
No Jessica
No Matt

Notes
Acknowledgments
About the Author

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