Anyone who’s even glanced at this blog knows I don’t like the Western concept of plot, and plotting, and the rising/falling action of Freytag’s Pyramid, or the simplistic Monomythic structure that has taken Hollywood blockbuster’s by storm. It’s a sad little raging of mine, since a lot of my stories do follow these plots. It’s ingrained in me, raised on Star Wars and Indiana Jones, it’s become a part of my own patterning for stories.
But I keep trying to search for a way out. I keep trying to find a different way of doing this, of approaching fiction. Ursuala K. LeGuin is an interesting one- her stories dance, devolve, move in a way that is more like spirals ascending towards light. There isn’t the traditional rise/fall climax, but rather an exploration. It wanders.
Another huge inspiration for this is Miyazaki. I love his films, and they do the same thing as well. They don’t have the traditional action->resolution plots, or the traditional problem->solution hooks. They have interesting meanderings, substories, no traditional villains or heroes, just people and things that happen, and things they do. There isn’t the feeling of rushing onward OMG OMG DO THIS OMG OMG but instead a wandering, an exploration.
And I think this gives us a deeper, more interesting world. It gives us better insight to the characters. Even though we don’t see the character’s thoughts, we can feel how they would feel. All because the story moves in this way, dances in this way.
I’ve been reading his book, Starting Points lately and it does clue me into a lot of how he comes up with the stories, how he approaches plots. It’s giving me a lot of ideas. Right now my serialized novel is pretty much following the classic rise->fall->action action action plot that’s popular in our society. But I think my next book might take a Miyazaki approach. And I think it will be far better.
*-also, for some reason I got a ton of hits in the last day or so. Welcome new visitors!