Tuesday, April 21, 2015

weaving in writing

A lot of writing books suggest to weave different elements together: plot and character, setting and conflict, backstory and character, etc. I've read this advice multiple times but often struggle with incorporating it into my own work. 

Lately, I've been rereading some old favorites, the kind that were assigned in high school (I always loved summer reading lists). When I was going through my Tolstoy collection, I found this quote that exemplifies what it means to weave multiple story threads together to create a rich, layered fabric:

"The study was slowly lit up as the candle was brought in. The familiar details came out: the stag's horns, the bookshelves, the looking-glass, the stove with its ventilator, which had long wanted mending, his father's sofa, a large table, on the table an open book, a broken ash-tray, a manuscript-book with his handwriting. As he saw all this, there came over him for an instant a doubt of the possibility of arranging this new life, of which he had been dreaming on the road. All these traces of his life seemed to clutch him, and to say to him: 'No, you're not going to get away from us, and you're not going to be different, but you're going to be the same as you've always been; with doubts, everlasting dissatisfaction with yourself, vain efforts to amend, and falls, and everlasting expectations, of a happiness which you won't get, and which isn't possible for you.”

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