Alright. First things first. This episode of Good Sentences (Episode 16, if you’re the sort who keeps track), deals with plot as a literary device, and it features our frequent visitor and good friend Angelique L’Amour sharing her thoughts on the topic along with the primary lunatics.
Before I go long on that, however, I wanted to talk (very briefly) about how these companion blog posts are written. Now, I (I being Scott, or as the book covers insist on calling me S.J. Varengo) am the guilty party when it comes to the lion’s share of the blog posts. When Craig and I decided to do the podcast it was agreed that any aspect of this endeavor which had to do with having talent or with being suave would be Craig’s department, and I’d take care of the stuff requiring no skill, such as the social media element, which is decidedly un-suave. And even though I’m present for the recording of the episode, until Craig edits it to it’s final format, (and by edit I mean removing all of the idiotic stuff I say in spite of knowing better) and I listen to that, I don’t write the post.
My dilemma this time was that I wrote a lot of the material we discussed, which meant I had to listen to myself talk A LOT. I like talking, but I don’t like to hear myself do it. So as I was jotting down notes for this post I found myself losing focus during the interminable stretches where I’m yammering, only to snap back to attention when either Craig or Angelique spoke, thinking, “Crap, here comes the important stuff! Better start listening again.”
The end result is the part of this post you’ve read so far is the longest section.
About the Episode (finally)
Our look at plot started out as an informal survey of what published authors (and a film maker) had to say on the topic. My criteria for considering a quote for inclusion was 1) It had to be an author I was able to look up and make sure they were real (one of them had the name Harper Lee, for crying out loud – turns out she wrote a couple of books), and 2) They had to have said something about plot. I know, I know. This is a very rigid criteria. Deal with it.
However a beautiful thing happened while I was reading quotes. Angelique and Craig began discussing several related topics, (such as literary fiction vs. genre fiction) and the interplay of plot and character, which without question (as far as the three of us were concerned), is where the true value of plot can be seen.
I did want to show one visual however, to accompany something Angelique talked about:
This is an Erector Set:
And these are Lincoln Logs:
Now, go listen to the show!