I’m drawn to patterns, even when I don’t understand them. Seeing how something links, intertwines, weaves in and out of other lines and shapes, forming an intricate design fascinates me.
Of particular interest to me are patterns in stories, how plot and character hang together, every little detail drawing attention to a greater whole. My favorite stories involve a tight web where it’s easy to remember every detail, because they’re linked to other details. All of them are part of a greater whole, a greater story, and an overall theme. A shield glitters with a menacing light, drawing the main character to it. The main character is a little sickened by the story it tells, yet can’t look away from its shining surface. The story reminds them of a painful past, evoking a desire to change something. After reading (or writing) these details, I won’t be forgetting the shield, its story, or the emotions tying the main character to it. The shield draws me into the story, the pattern of the story, giving me a sense of my main character.
Creating patterns of story is one of the most exciting parts of writing for me, pulling everything together. How does this shield tell readers who the main character is? Can I connect the shield with other characters? Where does the main character first see the shield? Who else sees it? How does the shield connect with the overall plot? How is it linked to the characters’s goals?
The shield becomes part of the story’s pattern. The more I see of the pattern, the easier it is for me to keep track of the shield and the other details; how they interlock with the greater whole of plot and character.
How about you, dear reader? Do you enjoy finding patterns in stories? Do you like creating ones of your own?