Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Small update

Not much to say today. I wrote a few hundred more words on the story. It's moving along, but I need to spend more time with it -- which won't happen tomorrow, unfortunately. But I'll fit in what I can. So far, I haven't run into any problems with using an outline for my story. But then, the plot hasn't progressed much yet.
I do think that I may be writing this in the wrong order. Currently, the story follows the chronology of events. But I think the story will have to start in media res in order to attract people's interest in the first page. I don't think it's necessary for me to change the order I'm writing it in now. That will be something I can approach in the rewrite stage.

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5 comments:

Prof. Hex said...

You know, Lawrence Block often starts after the initial event of the story and then backs up and tells what happened leading up to it. In essence, Chapter Two, Chapter One, Chapter Three.

Brian said...

That's interesting. I'm used to thinking of stories that begin at the climax and then jump back to the beginning. The movie version of Fight Club would be a good example, or Threshold by Caitlin Kiernan.

writerfella said...

writerfella used that 'media res' approach in "Rite Of Encounter," his most famous (and widely reprinted) story. It begins, "In the third week of his fasting, Singing-Owl found the white men."
Basically, it is about a Kiowa young man out on his vision quest around 1850 when the Plains people still roamed freely. He is seen going through his suffering and deprivation rituals but not receiving a vision. Eventually, on a day he is permitted to leave the crag and drink water and bathe, he finds white men who have died of Black Smallpox, contracts it, and then sees it as a physical being that follows him everywhere. His challenge then is to rid himself of something he does not know or understand.
The opening line, called 'the narrative hook,' is a precursor or a bit of foreshadowing to get the attention of the reader. "Media res," the 'half carcass' oddly fits...
Much luck!
All Best
writerfella

Brian said...

Thanks writerfella. Is that story the one in F&SF from 1973? I actually have that issue! I'm going to read your story as soon as I finish up "The Rising" by Brian Keene, which I'm reading currently (despite what it says in my sidebar, which I'll have to change soon).

writerfella said...

You hit it! Since it appeared in F&SF, it has been reprinted 36 times and rarely has been out of print in 33 years. Friends say it is my take on "Leinengen vs. The Ants." It will be one of the centerpieces in my anthology, HORSEMAN, STARMAN -- Native Americans (NovaMundians) in SF.
All Best
writerfella