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.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I meant to write yesterday, but got sidetracked by learning that Rashomon is going to be the next Samurai Saturday movie on IFC. I've been wanting to see that! I know it's supposed to be one of the greats, so I read up on it a little in hopes I can pick up on some of the interesting points as I'm watching. It's supposed to be one event (a rape and murder) told four times from four different POVs, so there's a lot to watch for.

I also found (online) the two short stories (both by Akutagawa Ryunosuke) the movie's based on, the main one being "In a Grove." It's a very short story, but has seven POVs, each one telling about the rape/murder as that particular POV character saw/did it.

Then today I was looking through McCormack's book (see yesterday's post) trying to find something else, and saw a few paragraphs about characters "braiding" together. McCormack is talking about a ms where the author switches POVs among five characters, which is not what's causing my problem with my swordfighting ms, but he mentions the symptom "little sense of increasing momentum," which of course caught my eye. Then (re. having five characters' stories going on all at once) he uses the phrase "don't entwine into a humming cable of circuitry." He's talking about a different type of problem than the one I'm having, but now I'm thinking characters should braid into a humming cable of circuitry. At least, they should in this ms (the swordfighting one) because all three major characters are of nearly equal importance in my eyes.

So now I'm feeling a little more strongly that I need to buckle down and write out the story from the two non-main characters' POVs, in order to provide myself with a firm footing. I probably also ought to strongly consider whether the ms would come to life if I tried different POVs for different chapters. This is not what McCormack was advising but, hey, I take ideas where I can get them.

Side note: WF says that the problem of the MC with a negative goal can indeed be solved by the stated/announced goal (see yesterday's post). In short: the sagging or nonexistent tension of a goal-less MC can be negated by having the MC plainly state small plans or goals or strategies that aren't necessarily about the main problem of the ms. So. Hmm. Am trying to wrap my mind around this and see where and how it might be helpful to me in the former GN.

Blog Archive