Archive for August 30th, 2023

New online class 10/15! “Plot Considered as a Four-Dimensional Array of Brightly Colored Beads”

So… I had this weird idea.

A few years ago I was thinking about plot, as I often do, and realized that the “plot” of a story is not necessarily the same as the “story,” which is also different from the “narrative.” It’s kind of counterintuitive and strange, but I think it’s helped me figure out how to get my hands around complicated stories and put them onto the page. I call it “Plot Considered as a Four-Dimensional Array of Brightly Colored Beads,” and now I’ve been invited by the Speculative Literature Foundation to present an online class about it.

Here’s the class description: “This is a new theory of mine in which I consider a story as a collection of related events, each of which occurs at a point in space and time. If you picture these events as beads, you can create a plot by stringing them together in chronological order. There may be more than one plot string, but plot is always chronological, because the events of the plot are connected by cause and effect (unless you are writing a time travel story). Once you have a plot, you can snip those strings into segments and lay them out, not necessarily in chronological order, in a single line which is the narrative of the story. Thinking of story in this way can lead to some interesting insights into the relationship between the events of the story, the cause and effect relationships between them, and the order in which they appear on the page.”

If you are interested in this class, it will be presented online on Sunday October 15, 2023 from 5pm to 7:30pm CDT. You can sign up here: