Structure and Pacing In Storytelling

Spoiler alert for Season Six of Game of Thrones (and the series in general).




Well that was an explosive season finale – literally – and perhaps the most satisfying one to date, wherein main characters die (most of whom deserved the end they got, others victims of circumstance), new alliances are formed (utilizing the logic that the enemy of my enemy is my friend… for now), and the most popular (and obvious) fan theory is confirmed as canon (of course R+L = J, but now what if A+J = T? There are  three dragons, and each should have its own rider…) . Winter has come, and the political landscape has shifted, leading the narrative arc (at least for the TV adaptation) into a world where women are in positions of power, and where anything can happen. While much of the series has focused on the War of the Five Kings (all of whom are now dead), it seems now that the story going forward will become the Battle of the Two Queens (Ceresi and Daenerys) and the War Against the Dead.

As the series has overtaken the narrative from the books, it’ll be interesting to see how the series will play out, and how it could affect the structure of the yet to be published next novel The Winds of Winter (which was also the name of the season six finale episode). Of course, the novels have far more details about some major/minor characters not included in the series due to time constraints, and some plotlines diverge from the TV adaptation – it’s understandable that not every detail from the books can be included in the TV series, though it might raise the question of which version would be/should be deemed the “official” canon.

But I digress.

The overall narrative structure and non-adherence to “traditional” storytelling in the Game of Thrones series, and its source material A Song of Ice and Fire series has certainly inspired the quasi-official restructuring of the MASC Chronicles, and the perspective from which (most of) the tales will be told. Fantasy and mystery (as well as the mystery of fantasy) will be explored, using alternate history as the foundation upon which the MASC Chronicles world will sit. Given the current world events as they are, there will no doubt be metaphors baked into the narrative arc, and pointed commentary on the state of things in the Real World. Multiple story arcs will collide, though there will most likely be only one (maybe two) point of view perspectives for each series within the (epic) saga – the use of multiple third person limited narration in the A Song of Ice and Fire series was dizzy and distracting to remember from which character’s perspective the story was being told, and keeping track of all the goings-on within.

Pacing the action will be a challenge, even though the (original) intent was that the core narrative for each novel would be a contained story, with some plot points interwoven to give each series a narrative flow. The novels were intended to be stand-alone, yet be read in a specific order so certain revelations would not end up as spoilers. Then again, it seems impossible (if not improbable) that a book series can both be one narrative flow and be stand-alone (read in any order).

Perhaps that’s the next (general) challenge / dilemma for the MASC Chronicles: should it be one long story split up into multiple parts (episodes) or multiple stories which make up one long story?

More to ponder (and plot).





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