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Old 01-04-2007, 11:15 AM   #266
Feanor of the Peredhil
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Originally Posted by littlemanpoet
How does one carry on the story if the two main characters aren't around? It doesn't work.
There are two ways to write about a cat.

Option 1: You have the cat. It's right there. Everybody knows the cat is what the story is about, and you have this lovely fluid story pertaining to the cat. For example, you have the cat, you get the cat in the tree, you get the cat out of the tree. And, ta da, the cat story is simple.

Option 2: Slightly harder. You build the cat out of claws, fur, purring, screeching, hissing, the scent of fish and dead mice, a scrap of yarn, and a few chirrups. You show the sunny window and the sound of scratching furniture. If the story is about the cat getting in and out of the tree, you also build the tree. The bark, the leaves, the breeze making the branches shiver as the cat holds on for dear life, because even though cats always land on their feet, you've built a distance between the cat and the ground. To change my metaphor without warning, it's like studying DNA by watching its shadow.

We don't have the main characters without Mark, but we have their shadows. We have the claws and the purring. We can build the story around them, if we know what to build.

Can you describe the sensation of "sizzling bacon" without discussing meat or grease or cooking? If so, you can write a story without somebody talking about the main characters.

What we can do without them, is build around them. As a sequel, if we were publishing, we'd need to give the audience a bit of introduction to the story anyhow. We can nudge memory into place, build up the scene. Give the readers the smell of a dead fish-- er... purring. We can give the readers purring.

We'll need Mark eventually, obviously, but we aren't bereft if she needs to disappear.

At least not unless I'm wrong.
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