Well, it’s finally happened. I’ve finished the first draft of the novel.
On one hand, this means that I get to start revising. On the other, it means an incredibly short blog post, because my brainspace is all out of words. All gone. I have used all of the words. Except for the really odd ones, like somniloquence, or pluperfect. But it’s really difficult to write a blog post using only those.
You were originally going to get an in-depth post about Guillermo del Toro, but that might have to wait.
Instead, I’m going to share a little about how I look at a work of fiction when I analyse it. This is how I do my I Can Explain episodes, and it’s the basis for any of the posts I make about looking into a particular work. And also, y’know, most of my essays. Because school is important, too.
So, dot point list:
- Look for archetypes. Character archetypes, plot archetypes. Is the author using them, subverting them, deconstructing them? Why is that particular archetype used? How does it affect the story? Did you notice it, or did you have to think?
- Look for motifs. Images, lines, whatever. How do they affect things? Are they there as a reminder of something, or do they show character development? Are they a symbol of a particular person, and if so, what do they symbolise about them? Is it symbolic of a particular concept, and if so, what is that?
- How is pacing used? Is there a section where the story slows down? Speeds up? Does it rush to the finale, or does it maintain speed and build tension? Does that work for me, as a viewer/reader? Why/why not?
- What does the ending say about the theme? Does it support either side, or is it ambiguous? Is it happy, sad, bittersweet, abrupt, unsatisfying? Does it contradict itself?
- And finally, any really obvious allegories to real-world places, events or people? How does the author think about those things – are they portrayed positively or negatively? Does the author change anything, and if so, is it because the author would prefer it that way in real life?
And that’s about it. Everything I say about a book or movie or TV show was found by answering one of those questions.
Hope that was interesting, will return less burned-out next time.