Connections in Stories

Friday, April 28, 2006

Question:

I was wondering how many of you do what I call "long-range connections" in your stories? They're where you put an event in a story that is insignificant at that point in time, but then several chapters, or even many chapters, later, it makes a huge difference. An excellent example is in Hugo's Les Miserable when Eponine writes "The cops are here" to prove she's literate, and a few chapters later, Marius uses that note to get out of his dilemma of what to do with Thenardier. So, how many of you do that?

Answer:

I'm sort of doing that with what I'm writing now. I didn't go in with ANY planning, so I just forced several unrelated vignets together. After doing that, I found interesting phrases that cropped up, or internal jokes, or whatever, and turned them into plot points.

Answer:

I only recently started doing it, and I find it requires backwards planning. I think of an event that must happen, and then go backwards in order to make sure I put something in the story that connects to it. It's fun, IMO, to go back and look at it and go, "Yeah, that's good."

[Rudder]

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