The 36 Stratagems

Diamond of Strategems02

During my researches this week, I happened across a page featuring a Chinese list of “36 Stratagems.” Further research today has found it in some other places, one of which, on TV Tropes, I link to here.  Taken in consideration with the context of my plots and the nature of conflict in my scenes (such as in the “diamond” graphic shown here), I look forward to exploring use of these stratagems in my writing and related work.

I love lists. They are a concise way to quickly reframe your mentality when searching for an approach to writing a scene. One of the things I work on periodically of late, both for the sake of improving my own writing and for an online application I intend to develop, is a compendium of confrontational frames of mind and emotion. These mindsets are, naturally, going to have a powerful influence on the behaviors of characters, and as I develop my list, I am attempting to come up with a set of writer’s prompts to match a character’s mental and emotional state in alignment with a specific set of actions that character might undertake in response.

This set of 36 stratagems should help me enrich that area of my writing and my program tremendously. Have a look and see if they will help yours, too.


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