Lack of Plot

This topic contains 23 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Michael Hicks 1 month ago.

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  • #27311
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    Lilyn G
    Keymaster

    This question was submitted by David Dubrow:

    Did the lack of a plot concern you, or is this kind of stream-of-consciousness/slice-of-life kind of narrative an acceptable way to tell a story?

  • #27372
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    Lilyn G
    Keymaster

    Honestly I was so annoyed from the get go,with this story that I never noticed the lack of plot!

  • #27376

    JB Rockwell
    Participant

    I thought of it more as a spiralling or looping plot than no plot. But it DIDN’T really have an ending. The weird thing is, with freaky chick Immacolata (not sure I spelled that right) and her time travel power you think they would have changed this but it either the point was you can’t change history or she was making sure things stayed on the path because even with the info she gave the Signalman, nothing seemed to change or get accomolished. Or am I way off. The spiralling made me dizzy and confused at times…

  • #27382

    Michael Hicks
    Participant

    This is a style of writing known as a slice-of-life vignette, where we’re given a pretty shallow narrative with a brief page count. It’s all about characters reacting, rather than dealing with plot, and that’s what we got. There’s a narrative, and threads of it were scattered all over the place, but it’s definitely not an A–>B–>C kind of story. And yeah, there was no ending at all, which is another conceit of vignette storytelling.

    • #27385

      JB Rockwell
      Participant

      Me no likey. Me wanted something go boom.

    • #27390
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      Lilyn G
      Keymaster

      I knew I had seen it before but didn’t know it was actually a style. Thanks!

  • #27388

    GracieKat13
    Participant

    It confused me as well, the time jumping. I had to recheck the chapter header a few times to be sure what time period we were in.

    Am I the only one who was very confused by Immaculata? What was she exactly? I don’t mind things that are ambiguous sometimes but she and the Signalman? I had no idea what they were, who they worked for or what was going on with them half the time.

    I’m not a huge fan of stream-of-conscious writing. This and short stories aren’t too bad but the longer works bother me when they do that.

    Also, I’ve read one other book by the same author (The Red Tree) and a few short stories. And it doesn’t seem like she can ever end them. She jut sort of…stops.

    • #27395
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      Lilyn G
      Keymaster

      I thought she was an alien ..

  • #27391

    JB Rockwell
    Participant

    I hate to say it, but Immacolata almost felt like yet another twist on the whole vampire thing…le sigh…

  • #27392

    S.A. Barton
    Participant

    I think it’s acceptable, definitely. It’s much more in home in its native land, the literary short story. But there can be a place for it, or other kind-of experimental or avant-garde writing tactics.

    They’re just harder to pull off. I’ve never really tried it, though I’ve done a vignette or two which is a different form of no-plot story.

  • #27412

    JB Rockwell
    Participant

    Understanding all this about the type of story/writing employed, I STILL widh there had been a LITTLE more action. You have a drunken, burnt out agent eith a seemingly endless supply of liquor bottles and an infestation of fungi-humans. Can’t I get ONE molotov cocktail?

    • #27417

      S.A. Barton
      Participant

      Seriously. A Molotov in a spore cloud would be like a wheat silo explosion, very pretty. And then that nuclear explosion to bright sky comparison would have had a purpose, kind of, as foreshadowing.

    • #27436
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      Lilyn G
      Keymaster

      Dude, a molotov would have made this SOOO much more fun!!

  • #27413

    Michael Hicks
    Participant

    Molotov cocktails really should be a requirement here!

    • #27415

      JB Rockwell
      Participant

      Or a flamethrower. Something involving fire. 🙂

  • #27416

    Michael Hicks
    Participant

    Oh hell, yes. I always kinda thought killing things with fire was mandatory in these types of situations.

    • #27420

      JB Rockwell
      Participant

      Okay, okay, okay. I’ve got it: flaming train driven into the cult compound full of fungi bodies.

      • #27439
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        Lilyn G
        Keymaster

        Excellleeeeeeeeent.

  • #27426

    Michael Hicks
    Participant

    I like the way you think, JB. 🙂

    • #27430

      JB Rockwell
      Participant

      *tips cap* Also, I like fire *snicker*

  • #27432

    GracieKat13
    Participant

    Sorry to go back to the original Lovecraft story but it does say in that that the clickety alien things do have human-ish emissaries, some are implied to be fairly influential (they start screwing with the the guy’s mail) so maybe she’s one of those?

    See, when the world is ending you’ll be thankful for us smokers. We always have lighters, lol.

    • #27440
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      Lilyn G
      Keymaster

      Yeah, the way they talked about her paleness and keeping her eyes covered..and she just never seemed ‘human enough’.

       

      Yes, fire in the apocalypse will be a wonderful thing. lol.

  • #27442

    JB Rockwell
    Participant

    Did snyone pick up the time period of the main thread with the Signalman? It felt 1960s to me…

  • #27448

    Michael Hicks
    Participant

    I actually thought it was set present-day, and it was just the author’s style. I did feel “dated” but I didn’t actually didn’t think the time period was something other than present-day. Not you’ve got me wondering if there were cell phones and computers, or if I only thought there were.

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