Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Philosophical look at plot, fiction, and real life

The Highlights Foundation published a mini-interview with editor Stephen Roxburgh (who has edited the works of Madeline L'Engle, among others) and I found this little ditty particularly interesting:

Highlights Foundation: How critical is a strong plot to the sale of a novel? ...
Roxburgh: ... A strong protagonist won't exist without a coherent plot: what happens and why it happens (i.e., the plot) makes the protagonist strong. Plot is the crucible in which character is formed.  

~~~~~~~ hmmmm; not unlike real life ~~~~~~~~ 

Roxburgh continues, "you can't know where a plot begins unless you know where it ends, and unless you know the beginning and ending, you can't know what must come in between." The analogy fails here, of course; we cannot rewrite our own lives. We can, I think, revise them. As Roxburgh sees it, the key is "'re-vision,' seeing what you have written in a new way."

Can you revise your life story? I think so. Can you revise that novel you have in a drawer? Not until you take it out of the drawer! If you're a philosopher, consider your 2011 re-vision carefully ;) and if you're a writer with a plot stuck in a drawer (or your head) consider the Highlights Foundation's pricey-but-possibly-worth-it workshop, Plotting Your Novel.  The registration deadline is January 31. 

DISCLOSURE: I am NOT advertising or recommending Highlights Foundation. This is not a paid promotion of any sort, just a mention that the opportunity is nigh. 

No comments: