In “The Wind in the Willows”, a children’s book that’s considered a classic and that I am presently reading, there’s the main action and we find out later what was going on in parallel to that action in a conversational scene. The author chose to tell what happened in parallel in just one scene. I found this worked perfectly, in this case. So, the question I have, is why would an author choose one lot of action first and tell the reader what happened in parallel later on, in just one scene? I think the author must know how this choice would effect the flow of the story. It may flow better that way. By telling two stories at once in parallel may lesson the effectiveness of the story as a whole. You may lose the gist of the story. Parallel plot lines — where two stories are told in parallel at virtually the same time — are the exception and one uses it only for the purposes of telling the story more effectively, without losing the gist of the story.
Street sight is long, run-by the forlorn,
A cloud settling across. The street mastered by a turn, as ghosts come and go.
Darkness one thinks she sees, ghosts flashing across trees, deafening cries of the lost souls from purgatory,
Lingering in her mind the fraternity,
Their callings exciting the moon
And along comes the white and spot of lunar light and valleys of doom,
There she finds Silence rambling, the day languishing, but not in the heart of someone lying down.
Curious she bent Surprised to find one who rose to meet her, with a crown.
The light brighter than before. Enlightened, wonder-awed, by the face,
She fell into the calm, the breeze behind.
And saw the street unlike before.
Places in the Heart (1984) is a pleasingly leisurely and ultimately worthwhile slice of life drama set in the 1930’s—if one can manage sitting through the slow troughs. Memorably, as people are sitting in a church to remember, through a communion service, the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made 2000 years ago, there, a young black man, who had been lynched because he shot the sheriff, are both present. The young man and the sheriff, though dead, share communion (wine and bread), and the scene resolves the relationship between the young man and the sheriff in the best way possible: they experience reconciliation through the symbols of communion. Before this, an older African American, Moses (Danny Glover), comes into the life of the widow of the sheriff, Edna Spalding (Sally Field) although it’s through a sense of “luck”. However unlikely, Edna Spalding is kind and gives Moses work. In the 1930’s in America, this would be unusual. Moses encourages Edna to pay off what she owes the bank by using his cotton-picking knowledge. For one season, he helps her raise a cotton harvest. Even if Moses must go, because of the Klu Klux Klan around the neighborhood – one of which, a businessman, feels threatened by Moses’ skills at negotiating cotton prices – Edna will know how to pick cotton next season. Moses, like the Moses of the Bible, is her deliverer. Places in the Heart unfolds beautifully, is worthwhile, well-meaning, sincere, and features a vivid cast of characters. Very well acted. Beautifully filmed.
Published 2020, http://www.peteswritingnotes.com
I’ve asked myself this question and answered a resounding no. A writer should have a consistent style. But, if I compare my review of 28 Days Later, written in 2003, to my review of 28 Weeks Later, written four years later, I am resigned to the fact that they have different styles. This is really disconcerting to me, as it shows a flaw. All I can think of, is that a writer may use different styles of writing for a while, then settle on one style. This style becomes natural. In the end, a writer or some, if not many, writers must go through this phase. It’s a natural part of the writing life. One must write to know how one wants to write–and sometimes if not many times this plays out in the publishing world.
This week has been seeing several devotions sent off to the same publisher, which is a record of a sort, but seeing one I did a month ago rejected by the same publisher. However, two weeks ago, one was accepted for publication–by the same publisher. That is the way of things. The way of the Write. At least this time. And two of the ones I sent were recovered from the rubbish bin, which was pleasing to see they didn’t come to waste.