Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Saturday September 18, 2004. "The West Wing of Darkness." I was thinking of Ursula Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness, and some part of my mind got it mixed with the TV show "West Wing."

***Feeling much better today, but not well enough for several events I was interested in.
zarabee 2004-09-16

'Something I figured out late last night: when writing fiction, I do better thinking in terms of process rather than plot.

'I don't know why, and dictionary definitions of "process" and "plot" don't help.'

Is there any possibility of you unpacking this a little, and furnishing it with examples, perchance?



First try at unpacking

I'm still working this out; and I need better terminology. What I called "process" is, in some ways, close to what E.M. Foster called "the shape of the novel" in Aspects of the Novel.

It's closer to historical processes as seen by those historians who believe in historical cycles; more particularly, as seen by Arnold Toynbee. Given such-and-such initial conditions, this is the expectable sequence of events. The Empire's upper class and intellectuals see it as being eternal at this point; but it's falling apart.

Or, in fiction: The romance heroine and the man who drives her up the wall are fated to fall in love. The lazy detective will frame someone for the murder so he can get the job over with, and by sheer accident the real murderer will confess. The man with a magic gun which shoots the moment an antagonist puts his right hand on his gun will run into a left-handed shooter. Oedipus will kill the man he doesn't know is his father, and marry the woman he doesn't know is his mother.
Writing: daily exercise -- I'm going to count the above.

"They Might Be Windmills" -- Took a speech away from the viewpoint character, and gave it to a walk-on character.

Decluttering: Did laundry. Picked stuff up.

Mindwork: A bit of meditation.
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