Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens has, as of this posting, spent ninety four weeks on the NYT Best Seller list. That’s almost two years running.

People have strong opinions about this book; “Loved it,” “Couldn’t stand it,” “Haunting,” “Trite,” “Memorable.” No matter what you feel about a book, you can always learn from it, as Stephen King says. In fact, King makes a point to read books he doesn’t like because he learns as much, if not more, from a book he doesn’t like.

At the Studio, a couple dozen writers spent the month of June examining Where the Crawdads Sing, and its qualities, not at the level of critique but toward the study of point of view, the use of the natural world as a character, and plot.

In this post is the first of three edited conversations:

  1. PLOT: To get the most of this teaching, you’ll need a couple handouts: Plot Breakdown and the Negation of Negation chart. Click on these links, and print them out. Even more helpful would be to get the books The Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker and Story by Robert McKee (from which these handouts were sourced). Once you have your handouts, CLICK HERE to listen to the customized podcast.

Lit Lessons are posts from the ongoing teachings offered here at Blackbird, largely by the teachers, but also by students with something to share about what they’ve learned. Comments welcome and appreciated. If you are a student who would like to publish something on Lit Lessons, please read these guidelines.