Connections in Stories

Friday, April 28, 2006


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?


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.


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."