Wednesday, March 10, 2010

denouement

MOMENT OF RECKONING

In most stories there comes a moment in the evolution of the plot and character, at or near the end, when the main character realizes something, has a moment of understanding. Everything should have been leading the reader to this moment. Things have happened and changes have occurred and now the payoff is a realization, an understanding, by our main character about some essential aspect of his story. For example, a man has desired a certain woman who has no desire to be desired. The man struggles to win her and once he understands he never will, never can, then he struggles to accept the fact she can’t love him. The moment of understanding in the story will be when he realizes this. Once a writer realizes that this understanding is what she’s been writing about all along, then she goes back and REWRITES to make everything fit into this story. That’s an essential part of rewriting to me. Everything has to fit. Every scene drives the reader to the moment when the elements of the story come together.

5 comments:

Andrea said...

It's true - sometimes a lot of writing has to happen before you get to that understanding, and then a lot comes afterward in getting the pieces to come together. For me, that's one of the things that makes writing so hard, and so fulfilling at the same time.

brian yansky said...

I agree, Andrea. Getting it all to fit together has got to be one the hardest parts of writing.

blueeyedadri said...

Sometimes it's also a moment of reckoning for the writer, they themselves didn't know that they were working towards that moment it just happened. Andrea hit it, fulfilling indeed.

brian yansky said...

blueeyedadri,

I like that. A moment of reckoning for the writer. When that comes, then I think that's when you have the opportunity to go back and make sure everything you've written is flowing to that moment. For me, at least, that means lots of cutting and lots of adding.

blueeyedadri said...

Totally, but you found the answer you yourself were looking for, the moment for the character, to make it all worthwhile.