Unfolding Plotlines


Photo credit: modular.dodecahedron via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

I read like a writer. I can’t help it. I love a good sentence or turn of phrase. The thing I love the most is when I come upon a story that unfolds like origami to reveal layer upon layer of complexity. This ability to delve deeper and deeper into the plot and character motivations is a skill I have not yet mastered in my writing. (I’ll be throwing a big party when I get there.)

These layers are what give stories life. The best ones mirror the intricacies, the unexpected driving forces for a character’s actions. We think we know people, but our closest friends, our spouses, and even our children have had experiences that we may never know about, but that influence the way they interact with the world. That interaction creates a path. Each choice narrows the trajectory. Good plotlines reflect this real world experience, pulling the reader in, coaxing and drawing him/her closer to the intended goal of revelation or denouement. The ultimate goal is to leave the reader with a story that sticks in their mind, something that keeps them thinking and mulling over, something that may be with them for a lifetime.

That’s the kind of writer I aspire to be.

 

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