Plot bunnies, narrative ninjas and other such muses have commandeered the narrative and have run amok in the timeline – or at least that’s what it seems like, as the element of time travel (which perhaps, might be a revealing spoiler) has preoccupied my thought processes and has made me rethink things I used to believe were true for my characters and the overall narrative flow. On the other hand, the inclusion of time travel (or at least the idea of it) has cleared up some of the plot holes that were threatening to tear into the fabric of my narrative arc. It’s also made me think of pulling a [George] Lucas and start the tale in the middle of the narrative arc, and work my way forward and backwards. Clearly, I’m still in a Doctor Who state of mind, as that series does have a tendency to explore alternate universes, the near and not-so-near past and future, sometimes all within a season (or series, as they call it outside the US).
Gone (perhaps) is the singular narrative arc, replaced (maybe) by a seemingly infinite number of possibilities, alternate paths my characters could take, choices that could ultimately change the (fictional) universe as they know it to be.
Time travel can do that (as can watching an abundance of Doctor Who).
Of course, the topic of my characters’ journey and the different paths they can take is prevalent in my thoughts, as I’ve just seen the musical Pippin (the other great passion in my own life is live theater, both plays and musicals, of which I also blog about here). That musical is about a young man’s quest to find his “Corner of the Sky” – his purpose in life, and he travels down several paths throughout the musical, searching for something to make sense of his life.
[Side note: anyone who resides near New York City or plans to travel to NYC in the near and far future should go see Pippin – it’s an amazing production, with a stunning cast and an amazing score. Truly, the show is a feast for the eyes and ears with a great story at its heart. Ticket prices might be on the steep side, but it’s worth it. Really. I’ve just seen it and I want to go see it again, and again and again.]
But I digress. Kind of.
Finding a clear (or at least relatively clear) path for my characters will be tricky now, with the (relatively) new changes, though I have some inklings on how the overall narrative arc might look. There will be some tributaries to the main narrative river, those “what if?” trails on the main road that is the MASC Chronicles.
Of course jumping from the future to the past then to the present is a worthwhile journey as well, one that will be very interesting (and probably frustrating) to plot.
Then again, isn’t the journey just as important as the final destination? How one gets to where one is going and the experiences undertaken, relationships made (and broken), and lessons learned along the way?
I hope so.