Monday, November 2, 2009

The Tangled Weave of Plot

Feeling the typewriter love this morning: momentum is a powerful force, and the combined weight of all those typewriters thunking away... it's awe-inspiring.

Wanna see something else inspiring, in an I-can't-believe-how-nerdy this is way? Take a look at today's xkcd, and be sure to click through for the big image. (xkcd is... difficult to explain. Some are moderately NSFW if your boss frowns on stick-figure coitus. This strip is fine, but you have been warned.)

It certainly helps if you've seen the movies in question, but as a card-carrying mouth-breathing fanboy of The Lord of the Rings (both books and movies), I am completely awed and in love with the narrative chart. I know that Randall's ultimately going for a joke here, but I love the idea of seeing the lives intertwining on the page.

I was toying with something like this on Saturday before I started writing, trying to list out the various subplots and resolutions I'm aiming for in this year's book. But the chart form...

...I need some butcher-block paper and a pack of markers, stat.


Mike Speegle said...

With xkcd, I come for the math humor, but I stay for the stick-figure coitus. The level of detail that that man puts into a simple comic blows my mind.

In other news, I actually did the whole butcher-paper-and-markers thing. Taped it up on the wall and made all kinds of fun little time-lines. It helped a lot considering the squirrelly chronological nature of my last book. Plus, it makes the whole project feel like it is of bigger import.

Paul Hanks said...

You _are_ convoluted, Dude. Seeing as you have a time line and weird plot fetish, you'll love this:

It's not stick-figure coitus, but almost.

mpclemens said...

Wow, I do like that, especially this diagram (Hey, look -- typing!)

I've done timelines before, I don't know why I never thought to add another dimension to it.