Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wednesday -- Plot and Non-plot stories

There are a number of stories that don't follow the cause and effect pattern of the plot. Some of these are listed under the heading of Mosaic, Collage and Revelation. These stories portray being rather than action. Short stories or novels can be built on this sort of pattern or the patterns can be used by a writer to add a different flavor to their stoies. What are some of these almost poetic ways of writing a story.

Among the Mosaic kind of stories one comes across the Mood story. Here the atmosphere developed is what carries the story rather than the action/reaction events. Horror stories often create a darkness that carries the reader from one event to the next. Often in the mood piece the setting becomes a character. The looming Gothic house, the swamp, the desert. Writers often use pieces of this form within a longer work to pull the reader along. If you're trying for this kind of story remember the moon is a fragile thing. Letting a false element into the writing and the mood shatters like a glass ornament falling on the floor.

A second kind of Mosaic story is the Character sketch. I've often seen this in short stories. Here the character becomes the all. This kind of story focuses on bits and pieces from a single person and what happens focuses on the character rather than any other element of the story. So in this kind of story the nature of a single character is revealed piece by piece going from their outer nature to the inner character, bit by bit. Losing sight of the character and bringing another character into the sketch can explode what the writer is trying to show.

Next week I'll look as several more of the Non-plot kind of stories.

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