A recent Writing Excuses episode to which I listened discussed the ideas of disordered storytelling, and means of writing stories that are intended to be read in an order other than from the first page to the last page. Unfortunately, it didn't really dig into the topic the way I hoped it would engage with it.
When I noticed recently that he had officially finished the comic, I decided to give it another try, and this time I got through it. I got through all of it, one comic at a time, twenty years’ worth of them. It is epic scale storytelling in a short, web comic format.
I came across this essay recently on "The Power of Our New Pop Myths," which makes the argument that franchise-based storytelling in the style of Star Wars or Marvel is popular because it fulfils the same societal needs that have historically been filled by religious storytelling.
This is your spoiler warning. If you haven't already read both parts of Blood and Dragons, I do not suggest that you read this post.
A long time ago, there were no dictionaries, no modern language associations, no Oxford standards. Language is a fundamentally organic system that has been evolving for thousands of years, as complex and intricate as something like the economy, and for most of its existence its rules have not been explicit.
My recent reading of Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy set me to thinking about pacing in a more rigorous way than I have before.
I’ve recently begun reading Bleak House, a Charles Dickens novel. While I almost always enjoy Dickens novels, with the partial exception of A Tale of Two Cities, the funny thing is that I don’t really read his books for the stories.
To me, the problem with this essay is not in the content. Where I think the problem lies in this particular piece, and many similar pieces, is what is not included.
I wish that the human brain was a better tool for diagnosing itself, because I would be very interested to know how much of my distaste for this book arose from the writing style, rather than the contents. To be honest, the writing sounded juvenile. It is my hope that the author adopted this style in an attempt to appeal to a broader audience, rather than it being an actual reflection of their intellectual capacity, but I found it quite off-putting, and rather undermining to those parts of the book that are valid. While I realize that an inaccurate understanding of electromagnetism does not preclude wisdom in the area of fiction writing, making a blatantly invalid analogy does make me question how well the rest of the book was thought through before being published. And that was just the most obvious example; the whole tone of the book conveyed a similar impression.
It might seem like an oversimplification, but it is very viable to divide a story into just three parts: beginning, middle, and end.