1. black-radish
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    black-radish Senior Member

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    two stories or one?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by black-radish, Apr 5, 2010.

    Hey :)

    I'm working on a fantasy novel now and I have a bit of a problem..

    There's a main storyline with some sub-storylines. But then theres this different storyline that's in a different time and place, but relevent to the plot. I would love it if at the climax every storyline comes together and it all makes sense. ( If anyone here has read Holes by Louis Sachar they know what I mean!!)

    Should I simply write a couple of chapters of the second plot as it has been done in holes?
    Or simply summerize it when they are sitting somewhere some night and they tell stories, and just tell it as a story someone is telling? (still following me?)
    Like at a campfire someone says: "A long time ago there was a little boy called Hamlet, his father died and the brother of his late father married the mother of Hamlet, so he could have the throne.."

    Or should I write real chapters like " It was a sunny morning and sir Hamlet, young prince of denmark, was walking through the lush gardens- blah blah blah"

    What do you think?

    ( It's not hamlet I'm writing It's just an example.. )
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I'd probably do neither. I'd probably make the older story a matter of local folklore, something that most people are aware of, a few know of it in more detail (but perhaps their versions differ), and no one really knows the full story for certain.

    People don't spend much time talking about the local legend, but as some events in the main story remind people of the legend, they comment on the similarity, in jest, perhaps, but certainly embarassed if people think they are really taking it seriously. But as the similarities grow, they start to wonder.

    I wouldn't ever resolve all the details of the legend. Let the reader wonder. Who knows, it could come up again in another story.
     
  3. black-radish
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    black-radish Senior Member

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    Yeah I think it's better for the suspense if it's just some lore people refer to rather than a story on it's own.. I think I'll try that :) Thanks for the help! I'll let you know how it works out!
     
  4. Aeschylus
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    Aeschylus Contributing Member

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    I find that stories are more engaging when they focus on a single perspective, or multiple perspectives that are interrelated. The reader will see the story as having more depth if it is seen through the eyes of someone who discovers it along with the reader (like first- or third-person limited narration). If several connected characters unravel the story together, that creates a similar effect.

    If I'm writing a mystery story about a conspiracy, for example, I'd mainly speak from the perspectives of the detectives, or the people making the discoveries and connections. Possibly even people that see the detectives at work but don't know their motives. If I want to show the people behind the mysteries, I could do that, but only if it's very vague and unclear, more as bits of foreshadowing than actual story. It depends on your style.
     
  5. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    I like the way Holes was written, with the two storied interlocking, but I have tried to do it myself and failed miserably. It is a rather hard thing to do.

    I like Cogito's idea though, using Folk law to tell the second story
     

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