Thursday, December 24, 2009

Purposeful Fracturing

I've been writing these 1-2 page stories to drop in between chapters of my world building books to give my tables something to grasp during sessions. I really like the idea of keeping the story contained to scenes. It cuts down on bullshit, seems to keep the read focused, and allows me to isolate the key portions of the story. I can work forward and backward in time keeping information and clues constant.

I've always liked epics that changed perceptions between antagonists and protagonists in the story. As a member of the audience anticipation helps build suspense as much as being in the dark, sometimes more so if done artfully.


I think when I start piecing everything together I'll jump perspectives.

Chapter 1. Antagonist A gives Protagonist Group B the slip leaving Zone A to Zone B.

Chapter 2. Antagonist A does something nefarious to attract the attention of Protagonist Group C.

Chapter 3. Protagonist Group B somehow manages to get word to Protagonist Group C that Antagonist A is planning on buying a soda. Protagonist Group C arrives too late to prevent the purchase but gets vital clue.

Chapter 4. Protagonist Group B discovers something vital that they missed before and races to warn Protagonist Group C but cannot enter Zone B.

Chapter 5. The audience reading along with knowledge from Chapter 4 sees Antagonist A create Antagonist B and C with Protagonist Group C none the wiser.


I could switch perspectives from a Cadre of Shades working in the Penumbra, to folks inside the City of Light all trying to stop the same villain. In the world I've created the usual geographic conditions would apply thus preventing the heroes from ever having all the information, and the audience gets the grand tour of physical and metaphysical boundaries of the story.

It would allow the audience to look out from the City of Light into the Penumbra and see it the way a human (or Creep) at that time would. It would also allow them to look inward from the Penumbra as a Shade would. The story wouldn't always have to follow the antagonist either, as both parties have their own points of introspection and insight into the story even as the action takes place elsewhere.

Books where the author splits the party can either engage the reader heavily or totally confuse them. I'm nothing if not organized. I'll just finish writing according to the new plan but keep it in the back of my mind I might have to split it all up in the end.

This'll either end up like the 1st episode of Season 4 Venture Bros. where you have to watch it 20 times to figure it out, or like Pulp Fiction where all becomes clear in the end (like it should).

1 comment:

  1. New Plan gets my vote! I for one thoroughly enjoy a story which doesn't do all the work for me - the leaps of perspective seem like an appropriate and innovative way to give everyone the same quality of depth of character. If it was a great story, it would excite me if I discovered some new nuance every time I read it - I don't want it read once and put out of mind.