ORDERING • ORDERING in a work guides the way the events fall together. It also allows for changing conditions, “tickling” the mind of the reader, giving consistency by traveling a predictable line and allowing for a broader interaction of characters.
Five types of Order • CHRONOLOGICAL • SPATIAL • LINEAR • LOGICAL • SUBSETTING
CHRONOLOGICAL • Most Close relationship to the TIME element we spoke of before, CHRONOLOGICAL simply list events as they happen. Many biographies are approached this way. Generally, a few events in a period of time are catalogued and outcomes (climax) are not necessarily dramatic.
SPATIAL • SPATIAL, rather than dealing with TIME deals with distance. The distance that a writer places his or her characters from other characters or places often says a lot about the relationship. SPATIAL can be used to indicate affection or dislike, anger, fear, reluctance or joy.
SPATIAL, PART II • Use your “IMPRESSIONS” area to determine distances and then narrate the difference. The use of a table or object or general environment can convey a lot of feelings between characters. This SPATIAL method delivers the “show don’t tell” demand of writers by their readers.
LINEAR • Much like CHRONOLOGICAL but LINEAR only deals with one specific event. The event is told and through the LINEAR process, we see all things equal and, the reader is given a sense of what occurs now will affect outcome later.
LINEAR, Part II • Examples of linear writing: • History, civil war, particular battle • Abuse, singular event, future • Travelogue; one location, sales • Case Study, one individual • Human tragedy, assassination
LOGICAL • LOGICAL ORDERING demands that events must follow believability. A person cannot conduct one act until he or she has conducted something else. The reader will not accept that “things just fell into place” in terms of conventions or devices.
PAUSE: SAMPLE • In your packet you will find a plot listing. Number the events in the order you believe they can happen. Be careful! We will take 10-15 minutes for this. See what you come up with!.
ORDERING - cont… • What will most likely occur in your work is that all forms of ordering will occur. The ordering will determine how well your five levels interact with one another. Chronological and linear will both serve either a series of events or the events within one event.
ORDERING cont… • SPATIAL will influence and serve as body language for your characters and give personalities to them. Above all, these orderings must fall under logical ordering – your reader must believe that these events can happen, that they can happen in the order you offer and that there aren’t very many “convenient accidents” that the writer uses.
SUBSETTING • SUBSETTING is the ordering of plots by priority. (Soap operas) Often considered more of a plot tool than an ordering tool. However, sub-plotting is a form of ordering that allows the writer to manage “TIME” within his or her work.
Conclusion: Ordering • There are four primary types of ordering: chronological, linear, spatial, and logical. Logical must occur all of the time, spatial must be used in character interaction, linear in a single event and chronological in a series of events. Subsetting is a form of ordering that can incorporate the other four types - Time