Sunday, January 20, 2008

when/how did plot events develop?

in my reading of Anne Carson's, Autobiography of Red, I kept returning to this question: when/how did plot events develop?

what do i mean? well, sometimes in my own writing i will have a particular plan in mind for a piece of work. i'll have the major plot events mapped out (to some extent), and i feel rather in control of the work. other times, i like to begin with just the beginning and see where the initial idea takes me. i feel less in control of a piece of work when this is the case, but inot necessarily in a negative way. both patterns have worked for me @ one time or another; they are just differnent systems, i suppose.

while reading Carson's book, i kept wondering when and how she decideed to make particular shifts in the plot or to develop new events? a huge example of this begins on page 125, XXXVII. EYEWITNESS. did Carson plan all of the preceding plot events after selecting this particular group of events? or did this event-- Geryon finding out about his origin-- stem from the rest of the plot events?

(hope this makes sense. its not really a question, more so a comment, i realize this. but did anyone else have questions similar to mine? in your own writing to you have a style or a pattern for developing plot ideas?)

1 comment:

Lily Hoang said...


I think this is a crucial question, although one that is certainly difficult to answer. I suppose that one must look at two things: 1. how does plot develop in a traditional narrative? Is there per se any rhyme or reason to it?; and 2. how does plot develop in non-traditional or conceptual or one may even go so far as to say poetic narrative. Given that Carson is a Classicist, by which I mean she teaches Classics as a profession and is not a "poet" within the halls of the academy, we must take into account the various ways plot plays a role in ancient texts, in these long versed novels (a very old form really, and she's just re-energized it).

So perhaps it's because you didn't "really" ask a question that I didn't "really" answer it. I simply give you more and more to think about.