'...the best stories are the ones where all the elements are not separated but woven together. The action reveals character, it's anchored in a setting, it reverberates in memory.'
I've come up for air from my research to think about my story timeline and plot. This is not a procrastination tool but important to my research to understand how the seasons fit in with my story. As well as that my research is pending field trips and farm visits that a rainy day like today doesn't welcome.
The process of mapping out a timeline and condensing my plot to one page got me thinking about the elements of a story - plot, point of view, characters, dialogue and setting. I started thinking about rhythm and pace, conveying passing time and asking the questions:
- Have you included the most relevant memories/backstory?
- Has the scene been set?
- Is the plot easy for the reader to follow?
- Will it make sense to the reader?
In his book Writing Fiction: An Introduction to the Craft, Gary Disher describes Michael Ondaatje's approach to plot - '...he works by assembling layers of voices, memory fragments and shifting viewpoints, actions and time frames. Even so, there is ultimately a sense of a story unfolding in his novels.'
This highlights how interrelated the elements of a story are. While I may be in the research stage of editing it's impossible not to be thinking about how all the elements are 'woven together'.
(Kate Green quote from Natalie Goldberg's Thunder and Lightning: Cracking Open The Writer's Craft.)