Gerard Jones on Finding Your Story

Oh no, this is my third post in a row on writing (!) after I’ve said how much I hated writing posts (!!). But it’s true I do hate writing posts, only this is from an interview with Gerard Jones. I loved Jones’ Killing Monsters and Men of Tomorrow. Read them. They are great.

“The more I looked at the usual ways of breaking down a story, the less sense most of them made. What’s this “beginning, middle, and end” business? Isn’t the end implicit in the beginning and the beginning still continuing to the end? How do you separate the “middle” from either? Once separated, how do you keep it from becoming just a receptacle for narrative miscellany? And what’s all this about the “character arc”? Why does a character have an “arc”? Does it go up in the middle and then back down? In a story of midlife fullness and senile decay it might, but that’s hardly every story. I don’t see my life as an arc. A line, a road, a river, or a tree, fine. But not a parabola.”

“At its heart, every coherent story is a single event. A single transformation or revelation. It isn’t made up like a brick building of its component parts; its parts are manifestations and demonstrations of its essence.”

(Thanks to pal Jay Ridler for sending this my way and absolute stranger Meghan Ward who conducted the interview.)

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