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cause-and-effects in stories

miklamar

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Report this May. 01 2013, 2:02 am

The Lord Jesus Christ said, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free."


Shakespeare said, "The truth will out," meaning that--no matter how heavily weighed down or buried--the truth will always surface, eventually.


From watching a Leave It To Beaver marathon this past weekend, I noticed how every action has a consequence.  When you do one action, another action will occur.  One action precipitates a logical chain of events.


So, fiction writers should remember this, when writing their stories, that each action will engender a subsequent action and so on.


Var Miklama--Zakdorn, engineer. "A sound mind in a FULL body!" "Time, like latinum, is a limited quantity in the galaxy."

Spectrum67

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Report this May. 09 2013, 3:05 pm

And you would assume that going backwards would be the same, with action would be predicated by a previous action... but that is not always the case in literature, though it can be assumed that it is in life.


Ernest Hemingway who was a pioneer in American Literature would often adhere to the Iceberg principle where what you see is but the tip of a deep meaning and story below the surface... Hemingway would at times write the beginning of a story only to discard it and take off at that point, with the beginning of his novel/story. It would be the reader's responsibility to bring the characters and story up to date... to get his own prequel, so to speak, and thus a more personal and possibly deeper take on the story.


Also actions may or may not be brought to light for the reader... but that is not to suggest that every action does not have a subsequent action, only that the writer may not directly supply that subsequent action... and it may have a very deep meaning down a ways in the iceberg.


So Jesus, and Shakespeare and Ward Clever may very well be correct, although not everyone will see that truth all the time, and not every truth will be the same... but they may indeed set you free, and come to the surface, and set into motion logical chains of events.


Fiction writers may utilize the iceberg principle as they remember actions engender subsequent action.

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

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Report this May. 09 2013, 5:51 pm

Yes, this is one of the reasons I like Babylon 5 - things that they did in one espisode may have consequences a season or two later.


 


One of the things that a lot of Star Trek stories do is the crew 'solves' a problem and then warps off to the next star system.... never to really see the longterm consequences of their actions.

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

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Report this May. 09 2013, 5:53 pm

Quote: Spectrum67 @ May. 09 2013, 3:05 pm

>And you would assume that going backwards would be the same, with action would be predicated by a previous action... but that is not always the case in literature, though it can be assumed that it is in life.
"One of the more difficult concepts to grasp in temporal mechanics is that sometimes effect can precede cause. A reaction can be observed before the action which initiated it. "  -- Captain Janeway ("Parallax")

OtakuJo

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Report this May. 11 2013, 12:20 am

Not to mention Tom Stoppard's "Look on every entrance as being an exit somewhere else."


(The basic principle behind Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead.)


...and the Russian formalist distinction of plot vs. story, the story being the raw elements of a narrative (from what happened before to what happened after) and plot being the order in which they are told. If a story starts with getting up, that does not mean the narrative cannot start on the following evening.


and the concept behind Barthes' Death of the Author, that being that the only "meaning" that matters in narrative is the reader's construction of that meaning. If this is so, then it does necessitate some thinking on the part of the reader in order to construct a meaning for themselves.


The fundamental rule of storytelling is "show, don't tell."


A consequence may be inferred or imagined, as readily as it is told.


Have you ever danced with a Tribble in the pale moonlight?

Spectrum67

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Report this May. 11 2013, 10:00 am

I was going to, but neglected to, include in my earlier post that Hemingway also said, "All stories, if continued far enough, end in death".


Of course we can safely assume that all stories pick up and end at some point, and there are events that happen both before and after that effect or are effected by the story at hand... It was Hemingway's belief that the reader must supply the surrounding story, and that what the reader adds makes the story -- These are my words based on what I learned and not Hemingway's -- So, in this I believe we can take it that the writer may lead the readers in the direction he wants the story to go, but ultimately it is the readers who will see the entire story in their minds... Hemingway was well aware that he was not supplyiing the entire story... and would often purposely delete his begining of the story in order to allow the readers to insert their own. 

miklamar

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Report this May. 13 2013, 4:51 am

I have been watching a BBC series called The Fall Of Eagles, about European history before WWI.  This last disk showed that the Austrian Foreign Minister, Count Aehernthal, may have unwittingly provoked the war by annexing Bosnia and Hercegovina.  While he was successful in the short run, his actions set various other forces into motion, far beyond what he would ever have envisioned.


By the way, this is an excellent series on DVD.  I had never seen it before, and it is a real eye-opener.  History seems to be a lot different than most of us were ever taught in school.


There is one important person they overlooked--and most modern historians seem to have overlooked--perhaps because he retired in the late-1800s and he consistently opposed Bismarck.  (I found out about him in an encyclopedia.)  His name is Count Friedrich Ferdinand von Beust.  He was first a Saxony diplomat, then the Austrians engaged him.  He was made Chancellor and helped to modernize Austria-Hungary, which badly needed it!  It seems strange that so important a person has been mentioned so infrequently!


 


Var Miklama--Zakdorn, engineer. "A sound mind in a FULL body!" "Time, like latinum, is a limited quantity in the galaxy."

humanityresurrected

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Report this May. 14 2013, 7:50 am

My son wants easy money, so he makes a deal to sell pills. a rat who was caught wants to get a deal for himself, so he makes a deal. My son goets caught and the child pays the price. 

OtakuJo

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Report this May. 15 2013, 12:51 am

Quote: miklamar @ May. 13 2013, 4:51 am

>

>I have been watching a BBC series called The Fall Of Eagles, about European history before WWI.  This last disk showed that the Austrian Foreign Minister, Count Aehernthal, may have unwittingly provoked the war by annexing Bosnia and Hercegovina.  While he was successful in the short run, his actions set various other forces into motion, far beyond what he would ever have envisioned.

>


True, in some respect, although the diplomatic tensions at the time were so volatile that if the assassination of the Archduke had not led to a war, something else almost certainly would have.


Have you ever danced with a Tribble in the pale moonlight?

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