Friday, March 23, 2012

Ask Elnora--About the Rule of Three? Lenora Worth

Hello, my spring chickens! The rain has gone and the pollen has pollenated and Elnora feels pretty springy this morning. Maybe that's because instead of writing my blog last night, I was sleeping away like a newborn lamb. But here I am and the sun is shining so bright, I need my transition glasses, even inside! So I'm in a good mood but I want to talk about a serious subject. Writers know all about the "rule of three". We have a beginning, a middle and an end. Plays have a three-act structure. Events or actions will happen in a story three times to show emphasis. This repetitive beat makes a story stronger and builds the tension. Remember, Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz taps her ruby slippers together three times. In writing, the rule of three is necessary for story development. But in other areas .....? Shallow person that I am, I love to watch those shows that always have three judges--Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, The Voice (which technically has four judges) and Project Runway which has three judges and a "guest" judge most of the time. While Elnora enjoys watching people go after their dreams, I saw a disturbing pattern in my mind late last night as I drifted off into what I call "plot land". (Seems I always dream in plot points and sometimes my characters literally walk right off the page and frolick in my dreams.) Anyway, that got me to thinking about the "Rule of Three". Is it just me or have we become a society that depends on these kind of judges? Is it just me or does this seem to have a slightly creepy factor? Does this method of entertainment force all of us to become more judgmental? Nobody likes getting kicked off the island, but while these shows are fascinating they sometimes feel wrong on so many levels. To have three superior, stoic, snarky judges (and no, Steven Tyler doesn't count) sit on their thrones and decide your fate--well, that's just more than Elnora's delicate nerves can handle. But writers are trained to send off their work and wait for judgment, right? Contest judges, critic partners and career-changing editors (see how I used that rule of three) are involved with writers much in the same way Jennifer Lopez is involved with contestants on American Idol. We need their opinions to advance us to our goal--and that, of course, is winning the prize. So let's discuss--Is everything in life done in the rule of three? Marriage, family, career? Mom, Dad and the cat? The Three Little Pigs, The Three Stooges, The Three Amigos, The Three Musketeers?? And when Elnora goes on a shoe binge--the flat, the kitten heel and the tall pump??? And let's not forget The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost! Maybe that's the only three we need to worry about! Talk to me, you lovely laughing ladies!


  1. Merrillee,
    Good addition!
    Then, of course, there were the three wise men.

  2. Yes, both great examples. Strike three and you are out. And didn't t Christ tell the Disciples one of them would deny him three times before the rooster crowed!

  3. You pack a lot into a blog post, Elnora. Shoes and the Holy Spirit! Whew!

    I like American Idol. My fav? Hollie! Although Phil is cute. He may appear as a hero in one of my future books.

    One, two, three works for me!!!

    Hugs and Happy Weekend.

    Only a little rain in my part of Georgia today so we still have yellow pine pollen everywhere!!!!


  4. Im still laughing at Mum, dad and the cat.
    the three bears,
    3 states of water, solid, liquid and gas.

    An egg - shell, white and yolk.

    and on food 3 main meals, Breakfast, lunch and tea.

  5. Oh it rained overnight here. its sunny now with some clouds hopefully will be dry when I visit mum later. not liking this cooler weather

  6. Hmm, I just finished my third book for LIS. I'm one of 3 daughters. I have 3 kids. I have a dog and two cats 1+2=3. Yup, I'm definitely seeing the rule of three working in my life. Oh, did I mention I just got a 3 book contract with Revell?! :)

  7. Sandra, you are rocking the rule of three. Congratulations!! AussiJenny, good ones!! Do you get a lot of rain where you are?? Debbi, sorry about that powerful, puffy pollen!!

  8. Oh, Debbi, Phil is from Albany, GA. We grew up about thirty miles from there.

  9. Lenora. up til 2 weeks ago we had had almost no rain this year the past two weeks have had quite abit for us. thats about an inch. In a year we average around 22 inches. didn't get to much in the end today most was overnight.

  10. I'm late! But I had to comment. :)

    I have 3 kids. And have you ever heard deaths seem to come in threes? There are often three deaths in the community around the same time.

    Sorry about that morbid note! I'd rather talk about American Idol! :)

    I love Jessica, Phillip (our Georgia boy!), and Joshua. They're all so talented this year!

  11. Missy, you made me smile!! All of your threes are diverse and interesting. The best three-- three book contract, three day weekend, Three Dog Night!!


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