The reasons for this blog: 1. To provide basic author information for students, teachers, librarians, etc. (Please see sidebar) 2. I think out loud a lot as I work through writing projects, and I'm trying to dump most of those thoughts here rather than on my friends.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Am wondering about the "rules." I finally cracked my copy of Queen Margot--I don't expect to actually read it for a long while, but maybe will peruse a chapter now and then--and was thinking about Dumas and the way so many (maybe all, I don't know enough to say) of his books were written as serials in the newspaper.

I wonder if you could impose the three-act standard on, say, the Three Musketeers. Of course, Dumas also wrote plays, so maybe he had a play-like structure in mind as he planned out his books. But in 3 Musk., the plot sort of careens around, doesn't it? However, every chapter stands pretty firm on its own and it almost feels like the big picture isn't the most important thing as you're reading. It almost feels like Dumas just wanted to make sure you bought the newspaper next week, too.

It makes me wonder about what you owe your reader. Does the reader really require a traditional rising plot that does this-and-that with X number of turning points placed thusly and a wrap-up that accomplishes so-and-so, in order to be satisfied? And look at some the manga series--they have long plotting arcs over several books, nothing like traditional American storytelling. Maybe within the arcs...I dunno. Just thinking.

Dickens wrote serials, too, now that I think about it. Were all of his books that way? I don't know if I've ever finished a Dickens book. Well, maybe A Christmas Carol. Perhaps I should try again sometime. I tried to read Tale of Two Cities many times over the years, but never got past the first chapter. That first chapter was always enough to put me into a twenty-year coma. But I am older now, so maybe I can appreciate it better. Or not. Heh.

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