Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Sense of Story

"in the story"--a condition in which the writer is actively immersed in the activities and details of a story to the extent of proceeding in the process without thinking; being in the emerging, creative details of a narrative.

However well planned it may be in the beginning or, conversely, however much in the moment the developing story stands, it is a place on an emotional map for the writer. Being too thoughtful, too mindful of readership or audience removes the writer from a precise place on the emotional map, opening the door for too much detail, too much explanation, too much self-justification from the various characters. All of this contributes to the writer being evicted from and thus "out of the story", needing to sneak back inside if anything more is to be done.

Time enough during the revision process for critical thought, rearranging of scenery, meddling with time lines.

How to get "in" the story? Find out what the characters want, then set them free to secure the goal, watching to see what ruses they will employ, and to what depths they will reach to gain an advantage. Next step, consequences emerge, demanding payment.

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