Children's and Youth Literature Writer's and Reviewer's Guide/Metaphors



Anti-patterns and inversions


Anti-patterns and inversions can motivate theory formation. An anti-pattern or inversion can appear on any level of the novel. It may appear for a character of the story and be something in his subjective perceptional universe (possibly a story in the story) or it may be a feature of the fictional world of the novel and be apparent for all observers or it may be apparent only for the outside observer, the reader, or it may be about the design of the novel itself, only apparent on the meta level of the author and perceptive readers.

An inversion can be a defective variant, less desirable variant or less useful variant of how something should or could be, possibly an anti-pattern or an element meant to provoke the reader to give consideration to the issue. If an inversion or anti-pattern may be limited to the subjective perception of a single character that can motivate the author to invent a more complex description of the perception of characters and their conclusions, which may be beneficial for the imagination and theory formation of the reader. An inversion can also be an inverse motivation of a character in the novel. The inverse motivation is an unscientific description of the fact that one often follows motivations which lead, upon closer analysis of the implications and possible developments, not to the desired results, but may favor or even cause a problem. An inverse motivation is thus the simplified claim that a behavior leads to the opposite (or at least something in some way contrary, something unwanted) of the outcome one would have intended if one had given it more thought. The author as an ethicist should aim to convey that it is helpful to create social environments in which people help each other to identify problems and to avoid problems. Interesting aspects of characters can, for instance, be the degree to which a character is capable to avoid "inverse motivations" or the degree to which a character is capable to create and sustain functioning social environments. The expectations towards a social environment may, of course, vary with the sociocultural background and idioculture of a character; on the other hand some requirements may be imposed by external conditions and characters may exhibit a varying degree of success in meeting the demands of those external conditions.