Patterns in Life: Writing

Published by JPGriffin in the blog Griffin's Blog. Views: 76

As a school-bound child, we all learn the basics of all writing- First the intro, then the rising action, followed by climax, then falling action, and then conclusion. I'd like to start by saying that this formula deserves to be burned. This, in itself, destroys the creative structure of writing, and while it's useful for making a good book, following it never leads to a great book.

Let's look at some examples. Lord of the Rings is built around a very long, bumpy journey with obstacles and life-threatening situations on every page. If one tried to map out the plot, they'd get something that resembles a crude drawing of grass. There's always a twist or turn in the beloved hero's journey, and the plot's as unpredictable as it is difficult to follow the subplots, yet that book has become a best seller and a classic for this generation or even the next. The irregularity forced a person to expect the unexpected, keeping them on the edge of his or her seat through the entire book. At least, that was my experience.

Regularity, though, can make a book suffer greatly, as I see it. I'm currently reading through Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express, and I'm usually a sucker for a good mystery, but the structure of it makes the book dull and close to unreadable, in my opinion. First impressions of suspects before the crime, crime occurs, then interview the suspects, followed by a search for the evidence, and finally thinking it through. So, you're given the information in a neat, organized fashion. That's fine with others, but it gives the book more of a feel of a report than a story. If the information was thrown at you in a mixed fashion, such as interviewing four people, then the murder weapon being found, followed by the other interviews, thinking, and new evidence arises, that makes for a much more gripping story. It jumps from section to section, and keeps the reader on his toes. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes fits that tab better.

As a horrible analogy, let me compare the formats. The regularity is like a line of numbers, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc., but the irregular can run from 1, 3, 9, 7, 5 to something as outlandish as 1, 402, 184, 93, 256. The former is this substructure that we've all come to know and love, but as I've read more and more and experienced writing that breaks that substructure, I find that the structure is losing, and may already have lost, its charm.

I'd like to read more than just the norm. I want to have new, amazing experiences, not the same ones that I've had before. Feel free to leave suggestions if you have any, and a quick thanks to mugen shiyo for inspiring this blog.
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