marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

tell me a story

 I wasn't planning on this.  But in no less than two novels, characters are going to sit down in lulls in the actions and gather 'round the fire -- literally in one case, in the other they can't get the fire wood -- and one of them is going to tell a story. . . .

Stories within stories are interesting.  They've got to be relevant, but unless the character is depicted as the sort of person who'd do that, they can't be transparent allegories of the outer plot.  (And when they are, they can't have that much more insight than the story-teller has.)  In either case, you have to vary it enough to keep the audience awake. . . .

The one advantage of having them both happen within days of each other is that I realize my first impulse in the first novel is actually much better in the second, where the story-teller wants to remind the (internal) audience that certain magic is not all bad.  

The other one I can probably just get away with a fairy tale involving transformation magic.  Then all I have to do is decide how accurate it is so the listeners can pull it apart.  (The story teller will remind them that it may be important to realize that people may know very false things.)
Tags: characterization, dialog, exposition, fairy tales in stories, theme, writing audience

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