Monday, December 21, 2009
Structure and Shape
As I was working on the never-ending revision of an early novel, a particularly layered, difficult novel to be fair, I found myself asking the question: can structure alone save a story? Now even as I type that, I know it is a ludicrous question, for no element alone can carry a story, let alone save it. Everything in a novel works in harmony if it works at all. It would be asking too much of any element, be it structure, plot, character to do the work a whole book must do. But as I contemplated the intended revisions, I saw also that by giving careful, renewed attention to the shape of the story I also found entrance to other elements to partner with it, aspects of narrative and character that echoed the logic behind the desired structural revision. To the journal I turned. From the journal to the manuscript. Work begets more work, but perhaps together solutions emerge.