marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

stalling

Sometimes you just know that the events of the story that you know about have to be farther off in the future.

Perhaps the conflict would jump too quickly if you just segued into them.  Perhaps the characters need to develop a bit before that, either on their own or in their interactions with each other.  Or perhaps the hero just needs more failure to make his story run smoothly, or the events must not leap on each other heels.  (A retelling of Snow White that had her growing up at the dwarves' -- she was, after all, only seven when she got away -- would actually make more sense than the folk tale, because it would give her time between the attacks to forget.)

The problem is that you don't know what's happening next.  Terry Pratchett's Valley Full of Clouds, and you can see the firs rising out of the mists half a mile away, but between -- a sea of whiteness.  So you have to stall the characters from getting to those events and plug it up with -- other stuff.

sigh

The bright side is that once the muse is coaxed into filling in the gaps, it often joins together so smoothly that it's impossible to tell where the invented stuff was fit into it.
Tags: character arc, conflict, story structure
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