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.

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