I felt like a how-to-write book, so I browsed through the library shelves. I didn’t spot the book Mike recommended, but I did find Novelist’s Essential Guide to Creating Plot by J. Madison Davis. I’d barely started it on the T when I found the section on Spectacle and decided this was the book for me. Spectacle is one of the six basic dramatic elements, according to Aristotle. Aristotle rates it the least important.
Spectacle is the flashy stuff, like invisible rabbits slamming doors or helicopters landing on stage, or, as I tried to explain on a mailing list once, basic biology lessons:
Again, that was J. Madison Davis, award-winning novelist, not yours truly. If it had been me, all that qualification (”might be,” “usually,” “may be,” “may,” “usually” again) would be replaced with definite, vigorous absolutes.
Speaking of public vindication of previously unpopular opinions of mine, the recent VVS9 implosion was quite gratifying. You wonder (if you’re an INTP) how so many people can be so clueless about so obvious a pattern over so long a time, especially when you saw the writing on the wall (or you were the writing on the wall) so early on. I admit, another disgruntled VVS8 writer egged me on to make some less-than-over-it comments on the issue, but I don’t feel vindictive about VVS8 this long after the fact. I’m just happy to see clues sprouting up all over. And it’s hard, too hard, to pass up the opportunity to say…
I told you so.