Xangles > frangles> structure 





33
O..
O
O -FLURTH-
O
O O


O
44..
O
O -FLORBB-
O
O O

-




O
O..
55
O -KROFF- O
O O
O
O..
O
22 -EARTH-
O
O O
O
O..
O
O -GENER-
66
O O
O
O..
O
O -FLUTO-
O
11 O
O
O..
O
O -ZEROA-
O
O 77


page  00  11  12  21
Structure of Frangles: First Try!

July 5, 2009  

The following gives a freader (frangles reader) a very, very rough idea of the future and evolving structure of Frangles.  Like all Frangles material that will ever ever be published, it's a shoddy half-ass rough draft, posted to give a freader the precious illusion of freedom from the inexorable doom that no totally finished Frangles material will ever ever be published.  Much Frangles material will be published as the software equivalent of a "beta" test, which the reader can download and try out a little, but which needs major modifications, especially at times when a lot of work is being put into raw material as opposed to solid polished prose.  The following the first beta attempt at explaining the future structure of Frangles, and will be heavily revised as time goes on.  Read only if you're bored, drunk, and dizzy, and please oh please ignore any typos you might find.

DON'T LET THE FOLLOWING SCARE YOU OFF.  While Frangles has the benefit of reading the stories in a million different ways, it's stories can just as easily be read straight through just like any other book.  It will be like a computer that you can do anything from surf the internet on, to write software if you know how to program.  If the following gets you dizzy, don't worry!  Just try reading a book from beginning to end
.  (once they're actually written); right now what's up is a bunch of raw material, but we guarentee you more is coming soon!  Or at least eventually.


FRACTAL NONLINEAR PROSE

After a great deal of planning, it's been decided Frangles will be a nonlinear saga of seven cubed (or 343) books.  Now don't get scared yet. Wait until we tell you that each book will be broken down into another 343 fragments, and that the total Frangles structure will include 117,649 pages (or short scenes), which can be ordered in 117,649 factorial ways.  That's something in the vague ballpark of ten to the power of half a million zeroes stories.  Now you can panic.

No wait!  Really, it's simple!  Extreme complexity and extreme simplicity can be the same thing (from one frangle).  Take, for instance, a mandlebrot fractal.  The simple equation z=z^2+c generates an infinitely complex and self-similar realm of images.  All from an amazingly simple equation.  The high numbers really mean nothing.  If you understand a nonlinear novel with just four or nine pages, the rest is almost just as simple, it's just a looooot bigger.  If you can play 3-D tic tac toe, you can play 700-D tic tac toe.  (You can stop panicking now).

So let's go over a three by three structure.  Consider a book with nine pages (we'll name it "Frook" to demonstrate Frangles' infinite creativity), that can be read in a number of different ways.  Imagine the pages in a square (we'll use rough cheapass diagrams for the moment):

    1  2  3
  1|X  X  X
  2|X  X  X
  3|X  X  X

Each X represents a page of text of our 9-page story.  we'll call the upper left page 1.1, the second in that row 2.1, and the third in that row, 3.1, and so on.  Now let's do a Blues Clues thing and you think up a plot.  Got it?  Great, a florist / midgit / recovering alcoholic love triangle is a great idea!  Let's label them characters 1, 2, and 3, respectively, and name them Jane, Tiny, and Clarissa.  Page 1.1 will be Jane's story alone, 2.2 will be Tiny's, and 3.3 will be Clarissa's.  The other six pages will be where the charcters meet up.

Let's say we read the story in the top row.  We get the story "The Lovely Florest Meets a Midgit and Gets Dumped."  In 1.1 is the story about Jane's lonely morning, in 1.2 is the story of her lovely afternoon fling with the attractive and adorable horny dwarf, and 1.3 is the tragic conclusion as Jane has a friendly friendly dinner with a new friend she met who explains the midgit is actually a serial killer she knew from rehab.  Jane's plot arc has gone from being lonely, to finding love, to being tragically dumped at the end.  It ends with the line "This was the beginning of a beautifully tragic love triangle."

2.1 covers the same event as 1.2, except now we understand the afternoon from Tiny's point of view, who's thinking the whole afternoon that he'd much rather be dating the recovering alcoholic he knew from rehab last week.  This is our introduction to Tiny's story.  In 2.2 we go to his evening, who lights a candle, and decides to start a new life as a buddhist monk and leave town altogether, yet we don't know why, because it's the middle of the story.  2.3 covers his morning breakfast with the alcoholic, in which we learn both are actually android agents who are going to prepare the florist to be pulled out of the Matrix, a stressful job that Tiny wished to get away from and was filled with guilt for, and now we know why Tiny wanted a new life.

3.1 covers Clarissa's point of view at dinner, who we see was lying to the increasingly manipulated and underdog florist Jane.  But we see a twist that only occurs on this page: She jokes that she was once a female Buddhist Time Lord who combed the galaxy to find a humanoid florist and a midgit to help grow a tiny flower garden in her TARDIS (a hyperdimensional phone booth from Dr. Who).  Now we understand her motivation in all the other pages.  Everything we read, whatever order we read the story in, we understand something different now about who the Time Lord android agent alcoholic is.

In 3.2, we see the morning breakfast with Tiny from her point of view, and in 3.3, we have the ultimate conclusion: Clarissa the time lord flees the planet and leaves the troubles behind her and ditches her quest for tiny midgit-sized flower arangements.  This concludes everything, but if this page is read first, we then want to know what her troubles on Earth were and why they were important.

The entire story, surprisingly, can be told 362,880 ways (for each of the nine pages, we can pick eight others, or 9x8, then times seven for the others, etc, or 9x8x7[etc]x1).  Each page serves as a beginning, middle, or end.  If the page is an early page (1.1, 1.2, or 2.1), this clearly introduces Jane or Tiny.  If an ending page is read first, we get a "Memento" effect, a story told in reverse order, where the plot holes of what the ending meant are filled in as we read backwards.  And so on for the middle pages, like the commonly used film technique of starting off the movie with one scene somewhere in the middle, and then we go "Oh!  That's what that meant!" once we finally get to it (often 2/3 of the way through).  Go, Wild Things, 11:14, and perhaps Fight Club, are also good examples of a nonlinear structure told from different angles, where plot twists at various points shed massive light on what we've been through, making us want to watch them again and again to figure it out.

That's what Frangles is like, except instead of the writer or director leading us through his particular order of events, The reader can actually jump around and read the carefully structured plot lines in many, many different ways.  For instance, the seven Kyle Kirby books follow him from high school into college, yet another teenage character (a dolphin at the end of time) also follows a similar path.  And yet another, and so on.  We can follow Kyle's life all the way through, or we could jump back and forth to Kolphin, who's lifepath parallels Kyle's.  Kyle might study dolphins, while Kolphin (the dolphin) is studying humans way back in the time of Earth.  Kyle might construct a wormhole to time travel, and visit Kolphin, and visa versa.

At other points, Kyle feels the textbook schizophrenic symptoms of people watching and manipulating him.  Aliens, and messages through televisions, and so forth.  But from another point of view, we go to a science fiction world in the future where humans have mastered vast technologies to construct whole planets, and watch over Earth-like replicas almost like gods, and we see from these frangles how Kyle's strange experiences could be seen as true.  At other times, Kyle interacts with the generic fantasy world of Generika as Bastian interacts with the Neverending story.  A simple Earth boy who's imagination is crucial to the entire story of Fantasia, who's very existence depends on his imagination.

These are the types of points of view that are intermixed in Frangles, except on a much larger structure.  The structure itself is simply a template, and like a giant city road construction project, may never be completed.  But, as certain sections are written, the reader finds more and more individual stories that in and of themselves are internally consistant.  Any novella (a very short novel) is self-sustinent, but can always be expanded on.  What happened to the character before the novel?  After the novella?

Orson Scott Card published a book called "Ender's Shadow" long after "Ender's Game," from the point of view of a secondary character (Bean), one of Ender's "sidekicks."  Ender's Game comprised a complete and total work, and only afterwards did Card decide to write the story from another character's point of view.  The book may have been a tad redundant, but clearly it was interesting enough to be published and read by fans of the series.  Then consdier the possiblity of writing the story from a third and fourth character's point of view, and so on, to the point where the entire thing comprises a massive artistic whole, and each part is worth reading, or at the least, a good cross section of them.


FRANGLES' 343-BOOK STRUCTURE

Look to the left.  Here we see a fractal septagon (seven sided polygon, more commonly called a heptagon).  The timeline of Okuaka progresses at the big bang right at the bottom of the circle/septagon at 270 degres, clockwise, to the big crunch of Okuaka, divided into seven "Ages".  Each Age of Okuaka was originally intended to be just one book each, that a freader could read in any order, and still get a full plot-driven saga.  Then the idea broke into seven sections of seven, covering more detailed events in each Age, and then seven more, and then everybody just sort of stopped counting, leaving Frangles a project of 343 books.

Okuaka's time line is as follows.  Beginning at Earth (the 2nd Age) and going clockwise, we'll have prose and parodies that take place current day, then sci-fi parodies in the semi-near future (Flurth), then sci-fi parodies in the far future (Florbb, where man has spread throughout half the galaxies in Okuaka); then Kroffonia, a place where technology has become so advanced as to start seeming like magic; then Generika, which is a parody of all generic fantasy novels which are so redundant after so many decades that it's about time to really, really make fun of it all; then (last in Okuaka's history), the story of the big crunch (Zeroa, which will parody mainly philosophy, but will be funny to everyone in the way  "Dilbert" is funny to everyone, but is even funnier to workers in that type of settings); then finally we come back around to Flutonia, the first age, which will be a bizarre and sporadic strange take on prehistory (everything from the Big Bang up to current day events).

Each gray dot (this is a very rough starting diagram, please bear with us in the awkward five decade construction period) represents one book.  Each circle of seven dots represents a little "Mini-Frangles" 7-book saga, from the point of view (the frangle) of one particular character.  Each set of seven characters (for instance, all the circles of dots around Florbb) represents the story of Frangles from the point of view of all the characters of that age.  The books are numbered starting with the lower leftmost point, then proceeding clockwise until the lower rightmost point, so that the very topmost dot of those surrounding Florbb represents Frangles book 444, and the one just to the right of that, book 445, and so on.

The circles containing glowing dots represent the "prime characters", that is, characters 11 (Artie), 22 (Kyle Kirby), 33 (Captain Kirby), 44 (Dr. Sexton), 55 (Koby the Pikachu rip-off), 66 (Mezoro the Wizard), and 77 (Pico of Zeroa).  Each dot is one of the seven books of that character's saga, much like the seven year Harry Potter saga covering a very full plot Arc of Harry Potter's life.  The prime characters are special because of the indentical number.  While character 12 might deal with Flutonia-Earth, and character 17 might deal with Flutonia-Zeroa, character 11 doesn't have anything to deal with but himself and his own world.  Character XX will hence deal both more and less with other characters, an introversion / extroversion duality, which is will all be explained better as time progresses.

The circling of a glowing dot then represents reading that character's 7-book saga in order from book 1 to book 7.  ...Or, reading beginning with book 2, then reading up to seven, then reading 1, as you might read a saga then read a single "prologue" book that takes place before the "first" book, such as the Hobbit (before Lord of the Rings, written before it), or Prelude to Foundation (written long after Foundation was written).  ...Or, you might start with book 3, then read up to book 2, and so on.  Because time line of Okuaka bends back around on itself (the big bang is equivalent to the big crunch; all of Okuaka is spent approaching the final preparations for rebooting itself), you can begin at any Age and read forward, because from any Age's frangle, it could just as easily have been the official "start and end" of Okuaka's infinite cycle.

This concept then ripples into many other sub-structures.  If you read any cycle of 343 pieces (whether 343 pages, or all 343 books), You could start with any of the seven subsets of 49 pieces, then read the other six subsets in increasing order, and so on.  Then many, many other ways of reading Frangles also become relevant: reading every other fragment, reading every fifth fragment, reading backwards from a given point, etc!  For example, one story of interest might be the point where the glowing dots reach the utmost corner of the circle surrounding all of them, the point where they're furthest away from each other.  These seven prime books would be books 111, 222, 333, 444, 555, 666, and 777.  These "prime books" are crucial foci of the story, and may be the first ones to be written.


INIDIVUDAL BOOK STRUCTURE

The 343 books (the dots to the left) will further be broken down into novellas (or "novas" for short), then chapters, then scenes/pages, all organized in the exact same pattern of 7s.  They're labeled as follows:

Age / Character / Book  :  Novella / Chapter / Page

So the very first page of the second year of Kyle Kirby's story (his sophmore year in Springfield High on Earth), is labeled 222 111.  As we read the first chapter, we read 222 112, 222 113, 222 114, 222 115, 222 116, and 222 117.  Now we've read a chapter.  The second chapter would be 222 121, then increase the last digit up to 7 again, then the same for the third chapter (222 131 up to 222 137), and so on.  The very last page of the last chapter in the second prime book would be numbered 222 777.  The very last page in Frangles (the last of the seven utmost prime pages) is page 777 777.  There are 117,649 planned pages altogether (343x343, or 7 to the 6th).

The numbers are not just for random labels, but rather are a key method of navigating the massive number of different plot paths.  Instead of reading 222 111, then 222 112, we might jump a whole Age ahead (322 111), in which we get the idea of what a similar character to Kyle was doing in the future in a similar situation, while Kyle was doing his thing in 222 111.  There will be many, many un-obvious and complex ways that the events and charaters will be structured around this numerical road map.  For instance, page 232 323 might have a very interesting relationship 656 565, its base 7 "inverse" (If 1 is opposite 7, then 2 is opposite 6, and 3 is opposite 5, and visa versa.  4 would be identical to itself).  Page 171 717 might be a strange sort of complex "beggining-end" while  444 777 will be the very end of the dead middlemost book of Frangles.

One way we can translate this into our common understanding of plot, is to string together combinations of the words beginning, middle, and end.  For instance, a frwoa ("fractal work of art") or sub-frwoa with the numerical label 111 (i.e. an unspecified 3 dimensioned story; whether we mean book 111, or page 111 of book 555, etc), could be said to be "The beginning of the beginning of the beginning."  117 would be "The end of the beginning of the beginning."  444 would be "The middle of the middle of the middle."  So page 141 774 would be "The middle of the end of the end of the beginning of the middle of the beginning."

Dividng a story/work into this many self-similar segments of plot structure is already quite a familiar idea to us; The Bible, Shakespeare, Aristotle, and Plato, are all broken down into small referencable bits.  123 in Hamlet (Act 1, Scene 2, Line 3) is the line "To bear our hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom."  123 in the Bible (Genesis 2:3) is when God rests on the seventh day.  This type of segmentation happens whenever small pieces of information are very important to us.  In classic works, it's mainly for the purpose of referencing them given that their small parts are studied in detail.  In Frangles, things are broken down this way so that the fragments can be reordered.  Whether anyone ever reads Frangles or not, internally to itself each root segment (right now a single page) is biblically important, because every single other segment is somehow related or attached to it.  A lone right or wrong word or sentence (such as "Luke, I'm your florist") could spoil (or create interest for!) A whole nother set of stories.

The beauty of this complexity is you don't even pay attention to the math if you don't want to.  All the structure manifesting itself numerically can simply be seen as an extra plot analysis you don't have to know anything about to experience Frangles; like reading the Lord of the Rings without ever reading a thesis paper analyzing its themes and plot structure.  We pick up on the structure of any story subconsciously, whether the reader or writer has subjected their beloved characters to the dispassionate mathematics of their lives surrounding them, or not.

Frangles will even have many pre-set stories to read where the freader doesn't have to know anything about which pages are being selected or why; a book that just as easily could have been a self-consistant book written by itself with no greater structure in mind.  Of course, understanding the math would allow the freader the benefit of creating their own stories (such as the old Choose Your Own Adventure novels), but isn't necessary.


LENGTH OF THE BOOKS

Finally, how long exactly is a Frangles "book"?  Aren't some books very long, and some books very short?  The beauty of a symmetric fractal structure, is that a "book" can be any size you want it to be.  Because the plot arcs are crafted on many levles (sentence to sentence, page to page, book to book, saga to saga), much of the plot arcs of Frangles are symmetric and self-similar.  This means if you read a seven part novella, you've gotten an idea of the entire 343 book saga from the frangle of a small microcosm!  This is how the structure of Frangles is designed, and this is how smaller portions can be published before larger portions.  Unlike a standard linear saga which has to be published in order from book 1 to book 7, finished Frangles frwoas or sub-frwoas can be published sporadically.  As time progresses, you'll find that one story might be published from beginning to end, while another story might be told accross a bunch of seemingly randomly numbered novellas.  (Say those last four words 7 times fast!)

For the sake of maintaining familiarity of understanding what scope you're reading Frangles material on, you can consider the chapters to be 7 printed pages each of your usual paperback or hardback book, the "novas" (novellas) to be seven times that length (49 pages each), and each book to be seven times that, or the printed novel equivalent of 343 pages.  So 111 111 to 111 777, would be the very first 343-page book, and 333 111 to 333 777 would be the 343-page book number 115, out of 343 total books.  (Note that the base-7 number 333 is the base-10 number 115, assuming we're calling '1' the first digit rather than '0').

For the sake of uniqueness, the exact length of an actual Frangles "page" (which will be on indivisible scene with no break) may vary significantly, from a single paragraph to a 2-3 standard page passage, but will try to maintain the average ballpark of a normal reading page.  Of course if a certain book is intended to be a longer novel rather than a shorter novel (such as a Wheel of Time novel which can bee 600-900 pages, lengths Generika may attempt to parody), the Frangles "pages" in that case would just be twice as long (two per each for a 686-page novel).  Currently the plan is for a Frangles page to be a fully indivisible piece, the absolute smallest fragment.  While clearly there's a certain structure going on in the back of any writer's mind on every level of their writing, the intention with Frangles will be to push this out of mind as much as possible when writing a single page, or else risk the whole being far too predictable and mathematical.  While of course 
the paragraphs, sentences, and words all could be crafted to themselves be re-arrangable, there just aren't enough brain spikes lying around in Kroffonia for friters ("frangles writers") to drive through their skulls in attempting such a prolific structure.

There's also a lot to say for individuality anyway.  If a story was 100% contrived on every single possible level, it would be 100% predictable, and there'd be no variation or suspense.  While we can see the picture to the left at its topmost level is divisible into seven equal "pie slices", the complexities as those seven are further broken down as we progress outward from the center of the septagon make the image interesting and non-redundant to look at.  So while the numerical system of Frangles is based on a perfect symmetry of 7s, the individual writing of a single page could be said to be level where the raw math breaks down and things start getting interesting.  Hence the whole is a careful balance of structured yet creative prose.

-  -  -

This has been a very rough and confusing draft of an explanation of the evolving structure of Frangles, brought to you by the letters X, F, R, and ANGLES, and the number 7.  Please return next time to find out what's next, and dive into the enticing conflict of the absurdity of a philosophiscientificky 343-book fractal symmetric nonlinear free online humor prose nonsense saga.