Monday, July 2, 2007

Seamless Transitions

The logistics of writing fiction can be flummoxing. In fact, all writers can suffer from some misdirection in this particular problem. The task is order -- sheer structure. How should the structure of a short story, poem, novel, or memoir piece be? This is a vast topic and therefore, cannot be thoroughly discussed, however it is often difficult for beginners in the writing craft to have a seamless transition of text that is cohesive and readable. Of course to some, such things come easily, but this is one thing that holds many people back -- the order of information about characters, setting, events, and all of the other components of good writing material.

If the order of your story is hard to follow, it may turn many readers off, unless you can properly pull it off. With age, and experience in writing and life, writers find their style; their "signatures"; and they discover what makes their writing styles different from other writers. Some writers turn out to be very straightforward in style, while others create mazes and intricate tapestries of creativity. I may be biased in this assessment, but I believe that writers who do have very intricate writing styles turn out to have the best material, though that may not always hold true. This goes back to finding your voice as a writer. There is so much writing in the world that writers should be unique in their style. Have some panache. Put some chutzpah into your work. It is important to go out on a limb and take chances while writing, but don't go too far, because the audience may not follow you -- something that boxes infinite creativity in our world. I personally find that my writing style isn't so straightforward. I jump through time a lot, use a lot of memories, and write orders that seem most natural to me and my voice. Life is not black-and-white. Write accordingly.


Lily said...

I agree that smooth transitions and plots that are possible to follow are very hard things to uphold at the same time as telling a refreshing and original story. I think that the best writing draws on concepts, memories, and ideas from all over the place in a writers life, so in turn, the story often turns out to be, well, all over the place. But once the writer can find a balance between mechanics and creativity, true greatness occurs. :) Thanks for the insight.

Sara said...

I have to disagree with your statement that writers with intricate writing styles put out the best work. That is, if by 'intricate' you mean complex and multi-lateral plots lead by description rich in metaphor with much of the important things buried deep in the bones of the work. Some of the most loosely constructed, stream-of-consciousness writing, characterized purely by its surface features and in-the-moment description, is some of the greatest of our time. 'On the Road' was written in 3 weeks on a single scroll of typewriter paper, which is not to say that pieces written quickly cannot be intricately constructed, but 'On the Road' characterizes that stream of consciousness writing where the meat of the literature is on the surface, in the dialogue and the action and the mind of the protagonist.
This was a bit of a mindless ramble but I was really just suggesting a poorly-constructed counter argument.