Here is the index post to previous entries in the Depiction series:
Today, Carol Buchanan has provided a Guest Post on for my series on Depiction, she has titled Depicting Relationships. Here it is, below.
Last week I reviewed Carol Buchanan's 4th novel in her Vigilantes series,
Carol Buchanan has depicted the formation of the States of the United States out of raw land - a wilderness rich with gold and searing cold winters. No setting is more appropriate for Romance, and Science Fiction (science of mining, politics of the science of mining, life in constant confrontation with "the unknown" and "unknowable" (thus the murder-mystery theme fits perfectly into the Romance of Science Fiction)).
I recommended that writers of Alien Romance study what Carol Buchanan has done in this tetralogy to reformulate stacks of original-source documentation into real-life-living-full-color story of human beings struggling with their personal issues and still creating a new order -- the United States, -- all these states distinctly different, under different laws (and good reasons why laws had to be different) yet united.
The Vigilante series depicts the period when paper money was first being promulgated and valuated, when gold dust and coin was "real money" that you dug out of the ground.
The series speaks to the issues we've explored in the series on Astrology Just For Writers and on Tarot Just For Writers -- the innate problem of the Individual vs The Group (1st House vs 7th House).
Index to 10 posts on Suit of Swords:
Index to 10 posts on Suit of Pentacles;
All 5 Kindle volumes on Tarot are collected here (free on Kindle Unlimited):
Index to posts on Astrology:
The essence of story is Conflict. Depicting Conflict is so hard that much of what you read today substitutes fist-fights, space battles, explosions, and chase scenes for "conflict" because writers (and many readers) do not know what conflict actually is.
So our modern entertainment industry has gone for the Visual Depiction of conflict, using symbolism even the youngest children can understand. BOOM!!! BAM!!!
In Romance and Mysteries, we divide novels into sub-categories: Sweet, Steamy, Cozy, Dark, Hard Bitten (Sam Spade), Gritty, etc. In science fiction it is Nuts-n-Bolts vs Sociological and a large variety of other sub-genres. What survives today is mostly the Space Battles variety of science fiction that makes the concept of Science Fiction Romance seem odd.
But nothing could be farther from the truth of the matter. Romance, Mystery, Science Fiction, and Westerns -- all of them, even the ones with a Conflict of Man Vs. Nature, are about Relationships, and very little other than Relationships.
Yet, in publishing we do discuss "The" Relationship-driven Plot, as if it were distinct from everything else. It is not. All fiction is about Relationship, and all conflicts somehow involve Relationships -- even when the Main Character is a prisoner in solitary confinement relating only to himself and his/her imagination.
How a human relates to him/herself deep in the unconscious mind configures how that individual will relate to other people. We all play out what is inside us, creating the drama of our lives.
The story writer's job is to reveal that fact in a way the targeted readership can absorb and understand in a non-verbal way.
Carol Buchanan has hit on a way of understanding that intangible fact about what the Relationship driven Plot really is.
Her previous Guest Posts on this blog are:
So here is her new Guest Post, Depicting Relationships, that may be of great use to Romance writers, especially those writing Paranormal or Alien Romance novels.
-----------GUEST POST BY CAROL BUCHANAN-----------
Depicting Relationships The Ghost at Beaverhead Rock
--------END GUEST POST BY CAROL BUCHANAN-----------
Learning how we "relate" to the animals of Earth might be a big help in First Contact with non-humans from elsewhere.
We now know that monkeys, dolphins and whales speak to each other. We humans have a lot to learn about Relationships.