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Top Down or Bottom Up?

Tabac Iberez

Impetious
Published by SLP
Honestly, I've never seen very many coherent arguments for a bottom up development of a timeline for a novel. It'll work elsewhere, but when you're trying to fit the story to the world and not vice versa it tends to produce issues and hangups.
 

David Flin

Voila, a viola.
Honestly, I've never seen very many coherent arguments for a bottom up development of a timeline for a novel. It'll work elsewhere, but when you're trying to fit the story to the world and not vice versa it tends to produce issues and hangups.
I'll leave it to the readers to judge whether or not it worked (and the intended readership is the only opinion that matters), but Bring Me My Bow, the first of the Nor Shall My Sword series, was/is very much Bottom Up. Because when I'm writing here, I'm writing for fun, I don't worry too much about detailed future plan. The story goes where it goes.

Obviously, when it comes to the novelisation of it, a fair amount of redrafting is required, but that's inevitable whatever the start point.

I guess extemporary story-telling - of the sort parents do with bedtime stories - is the classic example of bottom up story-telling. "Daddy, is Pwff going to be in the story?" "Funny you should mention that."

Tales from Section D (2), when it appeared in its first incarnation, basically took that approach. I specifically asked readers to toss things they wanted included in the story, and worked them in. I once had to substitute Nepal for Tibet as a location - I know Nepal well, but I've never been to Tibet.

It's quite probable that there are issues and hang-ups involved in the tale, but it appeared to work for the intended readership, and I had fun writing it. Anything else is chrome.
 

Redolegna

Champagne Socialist
Moderator
Published by SLP
Location
Paris
Pronouns
he/him
I guess extemporary story-telling - of the sort parents do with bedtime stories - is the classic example of bottom up story-telling. "Daddy, is Pwff going to be in the story?" "Funny you should mention that."
I tend to regard epics such as the Iliad this way. And what did our absolute awesome hero/father of the city do, good Homer? He was there, right? right?

There might be evidence contradicting this, and I absolutely do not want to hear or see it.
 

David Flin

Voila, a viola.
I tend to regard epics such as the Iliad this way. And what did our absolute awesome hero/father of the city do, good Homer? He was there, right? right?

There might be evidence contradicting this, and I absolutely do not want to hear or see it.
I've no idea about Homer and the Iliad, but I have vague recollections of my sister-in-law, who worked at Jorvik, who explained about how Nordic bards memorised huge epics for telling, which basically involved remembering the milestones of the story, some stock footage of assorted bits to shove in as appropriate, and a lot of blagging in between.
 

Alex Richards

A musical Hubble Space Telescope
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Derbyshire
I've no idea about Homer and the Iliad, but I have vague recollections of my sister-in-law, who worked at Jorvik, who explained about how Nordic bards memorised huge epics for telling, which basically involved remembering the milestones of the story, some stock footage of assorted bits to shove in as appropriate, and a lot of blagging in between.
Doesn't surprise me in the least. Everyone remembers the bit of Beowulf where he tear's Grendel's arm off. Not many people particularly care exactly what treasures he was given.
 

Tabac Iberez

Impetious
Published by SLP
I've no idea about Homer and the Iliad, but I have vague recollections of my sister-in-law, who worked at Jorvik, who explained about how Nordic bards memorised huge epics for telling, which basically involved remembering the milestones of the story, some stock footage of assorted bits to shove in as appropriate, and a lot of blagging in between.
This eerily matches my experiences as someone who had to preform ceremonial stories. Make the meter and lyric devices happen, memorize the keynote gestures, and then practice not freezing via delivery of blag. As long as you don't freeze up in delivery, you can do whatever you want really.
 
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