How to right a good StoryCorrecting a good story
You have to have a good place before you can make a good plot.
The writer Linn Ulmann argues for the importance of here in "Something Happening Here". One of the constants was a Swedisch isle, Fårö, where she came back every sommer to see her sire. The Cold Song writer used a brief history by Alice Munro in her interviews for this show to describe the way she writes and how place and remembrance dictates the histories we tell.
A group of people affected by the extinction of Milla, a 19-year-old au pair working in a seaside resort just outside Oslo. Ullmann: When my dad passed away six years ago and we sold his land on Fårö where I was raised, I kept a journal in a large darkbook.
This was a weird thing: a note-taking note-taking process that combined practicality with an idea for the new script I had written back then. This was a mixture of the one I finally wrote - The Cold Song - and another that I didn't. It was about a father's deaths. It was also a reader's journal.
Between the burial rallies and what to do with your things and how we wanted to burry him, I saw Alice Munro. I' ve seen them in many phases of my whole being. Loving how her vocal soaks you in, how her tales lead you like to the unforeseen brink of a rock, to a moment that - in her power or her mind for life-changing possibilities - are like a suddenly free falling.
In this period of grief I had taken this part of her history from "Face": This is where something was happening. There are a few places in your whole world. Or maybe just a place where something is. I was so impressed by this quote - "Something had been happening here". It was very touching where I was then: to start a new work after I had just dropped my dad at the only place I had ever really been to.
It was a very lonely place at that point where some breeders lived. I was home until I was three years old - and although I very, very often changed, I came back every year for the remainder of my career until my dad deceased. He begins to understand that the conversation in the cellar was a decisive point in his entire lifetime; even if he did not know it at that point, it was what came nearest to him when he saw his deformed face with honesty, but without reproaches, with something like affection.
" At the end of the tale, however, we feel that this is the most important thing for this personality when he looks back. Following the disclosure at the burial, he decided not to resell the home where he was raised, where the exchanges took place in the cellar, as he had foreseen.
Instead, he will live in it for the remainder of his lifetime. If we look back, there may be a place where something went wrong. "Then there are all the other places," Munro writes: also important, but not clear, not above all. The few places where something has been done are the places where it matters - they contain history, they are history.
Yes, I think for Alice Munro the history is a place, the two are so closely linked. You' ve got no history of a lifetime without a real place. Some of the best authors offer a feeling of what is happening in this special place, a place that provides information and food for people.
Which comes first: the place or the history? History or place? I am reminded of another Munro line, from their history "The bear came over the mountain": You never really see some places, but they are still important in your own lives, even if you never leave.
Somehow I felt like these two parts - because it's about the place in literary life, and where things have been happening, whether it's a bodily place or an inner place - are what Munro is about. "I think that's excellent, and so is my work. But if you don't really come to your paper time - the actual place where you get the work - you have nothing.
Also, the protagonists have to "show up" - the storyline has to be somewhere. Munro again: "Something has been done here. The" here" is just as important as the" something has happened". If I start to write, I need a place. All I need is that platform so my figures can move.
When I can get that feeling for the place - and that other decisive characteristic, the storytelling part - I'm sure I'll find a storyline, even if it will take some patience. When I don't have the place and the vote, I write without a engine. However, as soon as the vote comes, the "here" comes next, and then the "something has happened" - what we call action - follows.
This way you can turn your typing into a hearing sensation - a way of reacting to and being guided by what you have composed. Many authors say "the people come to me", or "the people come to me at night". No, I don't think my figures are still living. When you are fortunate enough to find a place and a vote, there are genuine implications for these decisions.
Instead, be true to the sound and the place when you find them, and the effects of what they bring. That' s why it's often more enjoyable to fiddle around with grades and good thoughts before you begin to write - it doesn't take so much time. However, the moment you begin to write down words, you begin to limit yourself to certain options, and you must be willing to give up what you have written about before.
There' s a writer in Norway who says:'Writers must be careful of their own good notions. "You have this great notion, and then you begin to write - and maybe something happens, and your vote takes you away. You stop following the ramifications of the place and the vote you have selected.
There are many good novels and storylines that are awesome - it may even be really good to write - but somehow you still feels totally gone. This is because there is a great concept, a necessary assumption, but a dearth of sincerity that can only come about by careful listen. These wonderful times when you only have to put the notebook away for a while because it is so intensive - we have a nice phrase, smerte point, which means point of sorrow - can only come from this kind of sincere attention.
Alice Munro is an accomplished artist. They dare to take the sequence of a vote and a place and join them where it leads them. The place determines who we are and how we see - this applies in our lives as well as in our fictions. This is how my dad described his first experiences of Fårö in his biography Magic Lantern:
This place is also the center of my live. If I read those Alice Munro tales right after he died, I think that's why I photocopied those quotations. It' the Isle, the house on it, it' s all going to go away now - and all the memory there too. When we go there, whether in literature, literacy or living, there are certain places that evoke our most profound recollections.
It is not a place that says: "Love me.