Oct 8, 2012

Looking for Structure

“A story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end... but not necessarily in that order.”
~ Jean-Luc Godard
I have what might be called a passionate, perhaps even militant, belief in the art of narration. The narrative is everything. I'm reminded of this as I work on my new play CARTER STUBBS TAKES FLIGHT. It has a straight ahead narrative structure to present an eccentric little fable, but as I laid the thing out, it seemed both kinda boring and predictable in chronological order. So, I started playing with the order of events.

As my progress continues on the play, I stumbled across this video the other day. Writer Rebecca Skloot was attempting to find a working structure for her multi-narrative book, so she wrote the different plots out on color-coded index cards. She then spread them all out where she could look at them, and then went searching for stories with multi-threaded narratives that she could borrow from. She ended up storyboarding the story lines from the film The Hurricane (great movie, BTW) on the same color-coded index cards, and then laying out her book material over the movie’s structure. Totally interesting stuff!

Rebecca Skloot: How Fried Green Tomatoes and Hurricane Carter Shaped The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

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