22 January 2009

Bird's Eye View of Your Story

I'm humbled by how many writers open up to me about that most vulnerable part of them -- their stories. 

Immediately ascertainable is how closely a writer is identified by the story. 
1) This is the story they have told themselves and lived by their entire lives. 
2) This is a fun romp, thrilling mystery, or pure romance.

#1 is generally character-driven. 
#2 is often action-driven.

(To see which way you write, Take the Test).

I get to not only sit in the crow's nest and analyze the plot and structure of the story, from that vantage point I often also see a higher archetypal pattern emerge.

For instance, in a character-driven memoir about strong political and historical and religious themes, the protagonist (the writer) is betrayed as a kid by her father. Later she falls in love with four men. She is betrayed by all four of them.

A bigger picture unfolds... Or, is it only my imagination?

Are there other ways to tell this story? You bet ya. 

How much of that which comes intuitively throughout the plot consultation do I divulge? Like a palm reader, say everything and let the writer decide? 

How much would you want? 

Fascinating journey this is, being a plot consultant to writers.