1. DanielCross
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    DanielCross Member

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    Need some help

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by DanielCross, Jun 1, 2010.

    So, let's suppose I'm playing around with a story about a thief. There are two parts: one detailing the thief's childhood and his tutelage, and the second when he is in prison.

    Now here's the problem I need help with. I could set the plot so it goes in chronological order, with Childhood--> Prison. Alternatively I could start off in prison and reveal the childhood scenes via flashback. Both have their benefits.

    Chronological order is easier to digest, and i've already set up various Chekov's guns (a term for a specific type of foreshadowing) to connect with the later parts of the novel.

    Flashbacks would provide a nice framing device, and it also means i can write less and have more independent internal monologues. Not like there's a whole lot to do in a prison cell. However, this means that I will have to combine Act 1 and Act 2, and the timing must be perfect.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi Daniel

    A lot can happen, potentially, in a prison, so it really depends on how much drama you want to squeeze out of that aspect of the story.

    But if you're determined to portray a character in isolation, alone with his thoughts, then I'd go with the flashback scenario. I just feel that it would play out better, but maybe slightly more difficult to pull off convincingly! :)
     
  3. Nikhil
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    Nikhil Contributing Member

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    I would suggest flashbacks since they are a better read. And your character would probably be in solitude so have him very sad and remember his past before turned into what he is write now!

    EDIT: People have nothing much to do in prisons than think! :wink
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    any of those can work well, if written well... and none will, if not...

    i know that sounds simplistic, but it's true... and i know you're asking for advice, but no one can tell which you can do best, but yourself... so it's really not something you should be deciding on the advice of strangers, imo...

    bottom line is all of those methods have been used to great success and even greater failure... so, the question must be, "which can you pull off well enough to make it work?"
     
  5. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    Definitely do what works best for you as a writer. There are a lot of things that can go on in prison. I hear it's like another culture in there. They've got their own slang and everything. So it just really depends on you.
     
  6. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    It does really depend on how you plan on writing the prison sequence. If the stay is going to be properly dull, then you'll want to weave them into each other, otherwise Act 2 will be a really boring read.

    I think it was Gulliver's Travels that slotted in actual fantasy experiences with him being in the asylum? I'm not sure.
     

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