8FOLD/ACRA: The Green Knight Annual # 1
milos_parker at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 13 09:52:40 PDT 2006
SOME THOUGHTS ON FOCUS WHEN USING THIRD-PERSON
Some spoilers for GREEN KNIGHT ANNUAL within.
One thing I really appreciate in any work of art is focus: a
straight-line that runs from the beginning to the end, a sort of
lightning bolt-cum-soul that energizes the work and gives it momentum.
Now, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with subplots, with the
Lear-Edmund effect, with building multiple threads up and spinning them
into one. It's a convention of serial fiction, and oftentimes, when
attention is paid to structure, it works.
But for me, I like to keep things cause-and-effect, very simple and
straightforward; I think the momentum can be absolutely thrilling if
done correctly. Now, whether I succeeded or not with GREEN KNIGHT
ANNUAL # 1, that's for the reader to decide.
But it was my desire to focus-- to let this story be Martin's story and
no one else's-- that accounts for what might seem like plot holes at
first glance. Things like the attorney's disappearance and
reappearance, and also the question of where, exactly, Dr. Tightly was
that night, have explanations. They're just not in the story.
And the basic reason is one of focus: once Martin's central question
has been answered-- does Tightly know who I am-- the question of where
Tightly was situated is irrelevant. I might come back to it later; but
it didn't belong in this story, to my mind, because that would be
outside of Martin's information, what Martin wants/needs to know: it
would have been outside of Martin.
The original draft of the scene in which the Green Knight appears in
Fisk's office started with Fisk. After a couple of paragraphs, the
Green Knight enters, startling Fisk. It's a much more startling and
dramatic scene than the one within the text, but for me it felt out of
place. And that's because the focus shifted to Fisk, instead of
staying squarely on Martin.
If this story works at all, it works because of this focus, and because
of the slow, gradual build to the climax. By shifting POV to Fisk, I
would have upset that build.
At least, that's what I think.
Just thought I'd share a few thoughts.
And, yes, the word "mourning" in the first sentence is intentional;
it's a pun, if one (strangely enough) seriously intended. :-)
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