There is Movement

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Depending on where you are today, you might think it funny that I’m calling this a heatwave:

heatwaveBut all last week, we had to deal with ‘high temps’ of 9 degrees or so. Let me tell you: Even the chickens protested. We only had one of out of our six hens actually lay an egg yesterday! (They are fine, by the way. The breeds we have are those typically found in Maine and Michigan, so they can stand the cold temps much better than their human caretaker.)

I can actually hear the water running in the gutters as I write this. Joy! I say this because this was what my schlep to Mass looked like yesterday at 5:30 pm:

I live only a mile and a half from my parish. Typically, the walk is 25 minutes. Last night, it took twice as long, because it was like walking in deep sand.

I live only a mile and a half from my parish. Typically, the walk is 25 minutes. Last night, it took twice as long, because it was like walking in deep sand.

This stuff is moving — melting! Thank you, weather gods!


Speaking of movement, I’ve made progress on the first part of Emmett’s story; i.e., Part I — Exposition. The exposition is the part where we introduce our hero, describe what he is doing, his dreams, his inner demons. There’s also a bit of foreshadowing at play here: Emmett’s antagonists are on the scene, but the antagonist/protagonist relationship is not explicitly defined at this point.

To recap, here are the key points one should include in an effective exposition (I’ve mentioned in other posts that I’m using a particular model to structure the exposition, as per Larry Brooks):

  • Hook (attention-grabber)
  • Introduction of the hero
  • Backstory and/or inner demons that shaped hero to this point
  • Foreshadowing events (which become the ‘proverbial can of worms’ later in the story)
  • Change that initiates launch to next section

Another interesting point (I think) is that this structure is found across many genres, such as fiction, screenplay, action stories, as well as biography (one example is Eliot Ness by Douglas Perry).

I told a friend a few weeks ago that I now look for this structure in the books I’m reading, just for the heck of it. I love seeing it; it is like an affirmation, you know. It makes me feel like I’ve got a good grasp of this project. That feels comfortable to me; I can move forward with more confidence.

I’ll be back later this week with an update on the exposition. Stay warm!

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