1. pmj714
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    pmj714 New Member

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    Using the Framing Technique

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by pmj714, May 21, 2013.

    Hello there, my name is Paul Johnson. I'm working on my first novel and I'm half-way finished. It turns out that I'm going to make it a split story novel. I'm finished with what I'm calling "Part One", but "Part Two" of the novel is going to be written in a different style than the first.

    I think that I might be using what's called the Framing Technique.

    Have you ever watched the movie Forest Gump? That movie is a great example of how I'm trying to go about telling the second half of my Novel's story.

    I'm trying to have it to where the main character says a few paragraphs of him commenting about his life story and then the book jumps back to him as a young man again. When it comes to movies Forest Gump is all I know.

    I see it done a lot on screen but have no idea how it's done on paper. I'm thinking about finding a novel version of Forest Gump to see how it's done on paper but I want to know if anybody here knows of other novels that have pulled off what I think is called the "framing technique" really well.

    Also, any suggestions on how to do this would be great. I just know from experience that when this isn't done well it can really confuse the reader. Read "Battletech: The Sword and the Dagger" and you'll know what i'm talking about. It's one of my favorite Sci-fi books out there but I had to read the thing twice just to get it and I think it was due to not "framing" right.
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Forest Gump is a novel. Have you only seen the movie?


    Apparently not a good book?
     
  3. pmj714
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    pmj714 New Member

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    Yeah only seen the movie.
     
  4. Anthony Martin
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    Anthony Martin Active Member

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    Well, if you know the characters and you know the present day moments you want to jump from, and the moments in the past that you want to jump to, it's a matter of organizing it all and giving it a shot, no? I don't have any good advice other than reading other examples and trying it for yourself, perhaps in shorter form to get the hang of it. Plenty of novelists use this technique, so it shouldn't be hard to find an example.
     
  5. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    The scriptwriters for Forrest Gump cheated a little bit - it begins with him sitting on the bench (present) before going back to his past. Then, a little later, he leaves the bench and effectively 'runs' into the future. It worked, but only because of clever writing. You must also write well for this type of idea to work.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you won't know if what you are doing will work till you've done it... neither will anyone else...
     
  7. heal41hp
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    heal41hp Contributing Member

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    I haven't read it but I've heard that The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss is written in a similar way to what you're describing. The main character is being interviewed in present-time and then it launches off into the tale of what happened in the past. I own the book and have heard nothing but amazing things about it but I've yet to read it. I desperately need to, though. So all I can do is point you that way. I don't know the technique he employed to pull off the effect.
     
  8. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    many of pg wodehouse's stories are told from the perspective of someone telling his friends at the club about something that happened to someone else.
    Even if it turns out not to be what you're looking for, I still recommend them as immensely enjoyable reading.
     
  9. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    And extremely well written as well.
     

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