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The Appeal of a Diarist

I’ve been reading an enjoying the C.J. Cherryh FOREIGNER series, though I must say the last few books haven’t had a traditional structure of acts and a climax.  The story just sort of unspools, and then she stops when there’s enough for a book, and the next book picks up — sometimes moments after the last one ended.

I had wondered about this style, and wasn’t sure it was entirely effective.  I’m enjoying them because I love the characters and the culture of this alien world, but was it really satisfying for a writer not to have such firm control over the narrative.

Then I started writing this crazy Mass Effect fan story, and I began to see the appeal.  I don’t want to stop spending time with Kaidan and Shepard as they deal with problems large and small, silly and significant.  I want to go on.  To see how Shepard reacts when he rides a horse for the first time.  And copes with life in a big boisterous family, and realizes being a house husband may not be enough to keep him envolved, and gets asked to run for political office, and they make the decision to have a family.

There’s something about this picaresque approach that is so comforting.  Unbidden new scenes and snippets of dialog pop into my head.  C.J. has the stature to sell a series with this structure.  I’m not sure many writers could get away with it.

But I’m certainly finding it fun on a project that can’t be sold, but is giving me immense amounts of pleasure.

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