oracne - Victoria Janssen (oracne) wrote,
oracne - Victoria Janssen

narrative panel/WisCon 2008

These are my notes on the narrative panel at WisCon. Mostly, I didn't write down attributions, or try to make a sequence (or narrative!). This is just the bits that struck me, and that I wanted to refer to later. Also, there might be some of my own thoughts and interpretations, but not a lot.

The panelists were L. Timmel Duchamp, moderator; Carolyn Ives Gilman; Susan Palwick; Pat Murphy; and Eileen Gunn.

Received narrative as a force/atmosphere and combating/resisting received narrative; reader reading subversively, and writer leading/seducing reader into the subversive reading. The latter sounds like the hard part.

How do we make new narratives/stories for which the models don't exist? Subverting the conservative force of narrative: this equals story, this does not equal story. Making new story understood as story.

Narrative arc can be independent of structure; for example a single narrative arc, but structured as scenes going forward and backward in time. Structure can reinforce narrative arc, also. Thematic reinforcement ought to work as well.

The game of reading is to see narrative in a collage of events; seems to happen naturally when you have three random events; even two will do.

If reader is faced with a puzzle, must read interactively to assemble the puzzle/narrative.

Writer can write a story and then distance herself from the story, allowing her to rework it with greater freedom. "That story is done. I am now working on this story." (William Gibson recommended this technique to Eileen Gunn.)

Once a narrative is out in the world, it's no longer yours.

Exploit the holes in the story. [I think this meant, exploit the holes in one story to make a new, more interesting story.]

Carolyn Gilman: narrative is not explanation, it simulates explanation; narrative stresses competition and conflict; narrative tends to stress the personal and private over the public and political. Sequence in narrative implies causation.
Tags: con reports, panel reports, writing, writing craft

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