Xangles > frangles> structure 





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Structure of Frangles: Up and Down Progress

Thanksgiving 2009 11/28

CIVIL WAR OF SYMMETRY

A problem has been noticed that significant progress on some fronts can tear away from progress on other fronts.  (One friter even compared this to some methods of color control in Fractal Explorer where moving a bar makes half your fractal prettier and half puke-uglier.)  For instance, our progress as we focus on Writer's Bricks in some ways has distanced us from the over all 343 book structure, which is quite unpleasant given that the point of Writer's Bricks is to help out with those structure problems, but is also nauseatingly expected given the other half of the point of Writer's Bricks is to @!#$ *over* the over all structure and simply throw out something quick to read for you impatient slave drivers complaining about the 50 year estimate for the first Frangles book.  =/

Actually, writing a full book is as progressive as any other method of furthering Frangles, because having experience with one aspect of structure, plot, character, etc, factors into all others, just as dealing with some of the latter issues first would aid the former.  Of course, all these issues are constantly weaving in-and-out and on-and-off our to-do lists, so we just shoved the task of a finished book near the top of the queue.  The other tasks would of course be complaining about Writer's Bricks cutting in line, but like, duh, tasks can't *talk* (at least until Frangles Visual F#).

But the opposite goes as well.  Most things intrinsically rely on others, so setting certain precedents before others are well fleshed out (like posting a book fifty years early before we're satisfied with the final plot and character structures) of course has its downsides.  I.e. in 50 years Writer's Bricks might be something entirely different, and then you'll go "Oh @#$%, why the hell did I bother pre-reading that!?" 

Just remember that Frangles is a *draft*.  Not a draft this week or this year, but just plain indefinitely.  Let's say J.K. Rowling or J.R.R. Tolkien or Jean M. Auel  or any other author who's name starts with "J" and contains at least one lone suspicious initial wants to write a 7-book saga.  They go along and publish one book at a time because who has the kind of patience to wait for an author's last deathbed words to know what happens on the last page?  But then once the saga is complete, maybe there's fifty major things they wished they could change or re-write; ideally the full saga should be drafted before published, which is why Frangles is a draft: we intend to screw over all your favorite stuff later by saying it never really happened (the only way to revise a saga without making you wait 50 years to read anything).  Drafting and revising is a principle not just helpful, but *core* to good writing and plot and character structure.  Therefore we might say that every author and director we've ever come across has bypassed this key writing technique!  What a loss, and all for the sake of continuity!


THE HYPERFRACOLIC SKYSCRAPER

Consider this:

Imagine a huge skyscraper that has yet to be built.  It's important that the over all final structure work together to form a safe, stable, and organized building.  You don't want a fire in one area to collapse ten floors, or a pigeon to poop on a window and have the entire thing crash down into a heap of rubble.  Your usual way of accomplishing this would be to design the over all structure via blueprints from square one, and build the building physically from the ground upward, knowing exactly where every board and rod are going to go by the very top floor.

But imagine another way: what if you could toss up random chunks of building material and leave them floating in the air where they'll eventually go?  A secretary's office to ensure all have sufficient leg room, or a restroom to test the gravitational pull on urination way up there.  What if you could fly up to the 14th floor and throw up a quick floating window for your pet carrier pigeon to turd on, to ensure a 14th floor bird turding doesn't break it and shatter all the other windows successively like the helicopter that crashes in the classic scene at the end of the Matrix where the windows of a large building shatter as the helicopter smashes into it just before we realize Neo is an ultimate supreme being given he can pull someone up hanging from a rope in desperate situations.

Building such structures would have their benefits and allow more freedom in terms of the building's development, but the more you wanted to build initially the more the rest of blueprints would have to work around/with those structures, as you wouldn't want to rebuild half the building after it's partially completed just to stick in an extra 1st-floor Mr. Coffee maker you forgot about.  Or maybe one could move around whole sections; a floor of tight cubicles might go better near the top of the building where the overworked engineering staff have to yell down farther to bother complaining about needing more space.  Or a 30-floor elevator to restrooms on every other floor, but can't decide whether to choose the evens or the odds until someone's tried both possibilities out by taking a $#@! on at least 20.  Finding out *all* these things is very beneficial to the design (and construction) process, but with the downside of one area depending on another if it's set in stone first.

Now!  Imagine something even more bizarre: every brick you place down in a corner of a room, you see every single other room-corner brick penciled in on the building's blueprints.  If you place it firmly in place, all those other bricks get *penned* in on the blueprints, and undoing those final plans requires the brick you placed down and any others like it.  Imagine building a whole floor, and the construction workers automatically begin building half the other floors because they have final instructions already on what to do in those areas.  You take a month off, and come back to find three or four completed floors, but then something goes wrong just as you get back: the bird has turd on the !@#$ window again and shattered every window on every completed floor. You decide you don't want any 14th floor windows any more, but that affects the structure of floor 14, which must be re-built, which in turn forces the workers to begin demolishing every other similar floor they've just created.  Maybe you build a ventilation system in just one room, but that sets major precedents for all other ventilation systems which must eventually connect with that room, which in turn affects the room sizes, cubicles, carpets, and finally, *again*, that potential window which you're sure now can be built in transparent titanium without that !@#$ing bird collapsing the whole your whole million dollar skyscraper.  You demolish every floor, build the revised ventilation system, build your revised Floor 14 which forces the building of all other floors, and your Skyscraper is finally completely complete!

...And then a family of four dies tragically when their air balloon crashes into your sturdy transparent titanium window, because you didn't realize you built your entire skyscraper in the smack middle of an air balloon tourist windway bypass.  Now here, to top it off, we describe some cumulative hyper-rant comparable to the one Will Hunting goes into after being denied an NSA job that we're too currently too lazy to match, and you finally see the difficulties of fractal nonlinear construction at the most extreme worst-case scenario, and completely forget that there were ever any benefits of this method of construction to begin with.

This is what it's like to frite Frangles, and to a much more enjoyable extent, to *follow* its construction as a freer.  Keep in mind one of the founding principles of Frangles is to design a structured saga of literature that's never been attempted, so half the work of writing it is going to be exploring the foundational methods of how to write fractal nonlinear fiction sans any major historical examples to learn from.  Frangles aims for the prolific nature of Asimov who wrote over 300 books, except with the same effort we might only be able to write 150 given the work of figuring how one goes about organizing such a structure, and how to write ours in particular to boot.

Whenever a saga plans ahead for 7 books but just writes one at a time, this horribly disallows the type of revision that all good literature demands before a work is completed.  This essentially means that no multi-book/film saga in literature or film has actually had the chance to be revised once a single draft is finished!  Writers and directors and producers have superb *ideas* for structured books or movies or shows, but never, never, never are those ideas ever realized, as every single one requires producing the first part, then the second, then the third, etc, in a cripplingly linear way.

Always, always, always, the established literary principle of revising your work after a rough draft applies to any given work of art, especially a large project of works of art.  Always we're told to write a *draft*, then revise the draft once a rough whole picture has been brainstormed.  Always, always, the writer--the constructor--cannot predict where the journey of producing the work for the first time will take them.  Word leads to word, chapter leads to chapter, book leads to book.  Sometimes there's even the paradoxical scenario where a writer will toss out the very thing that spawned their whole work because it didn't turn out to fit in by the end!

In this whole process comes a learning experience of what's working and not working; what was good about the original intention and what needs revisiting; what needs tweaks or deletes or re-hauls or just plain didn't work.  A revision experience that's always denied a large saga involving multiple books, films, or TV episodes, with scant stray specs of exceptions.  Even the exceptions fall significantly short of achieving the writer's or producer's original idea (such as Star Wars or Babylon 5), all due to the evils of limited budgets, poor foresight, immediate gratification, and contrived stories to sell cheap plush Ewoks; evils comprising the single greatest nemesis of well structured sagas.


PLEASE DONATE A TIME MACHINE

Frangles--with no more access to a time machine than anyone else as far as you know--is of course subject to all these real world difficulties (what reader or writer has the patience to wait a decade or two for a full saga to be released), but one of our goals is to go further in defeating them than anyone's yet accomplished, however short we fall of perfection.  This is partly because the concept of Frangles--symmetric, self-similar pages arrangeable in millions of combinations--demands massively more attention to that idea of structure.  A linear approach to writing (the first book or film or episode, then the next, then the next...) can do a roughly decent job given the story is made to be *read* first page first, and the second page second, etc.  But with a nonlinear saga such as Frangles where the first and last page could be any of many different pages throughout the entire page structure, new approaches are necessary.  Necessity is a parent of innovation, and the Frangles necessity of obsessive attention to structure forces us to write those huge finish drafts before going back and revising whole books or themes or concepts, something we're still figuring out how to balance and still output complete stories to read as Frangles evolves.

[Take a careful note here of the difference between aiming for something structured *well*, and aiming for a different *type* of structure.  The former applies to all linear sagas (i.e. most everything you've ever read or seen), and would apply to Frangles even if it *were* just another regular 7-book sagas.  So saying "let's actually finish our stuff before publishing it" is a nifty idea, but not a radical epiphany.  The latter--constructing a *type* of storytelling almost never attempted--is what makes Frangles extremely unique, which must be structured well in addition to being attempted at all.]

So what are we doing about it??  Absolutely nothing!  Except for a couple bot orbs having direct wi-fi access to our brains (Orbo, have you unzipped that traumatic childhood memory of fragmatic nonlinear abuse yet?), we're just as human as everyone else.  While Frangles might welcome--or even necessitate--a very patient approach to accumulating a lot of raw material before polishing it, we're probably not being any more patient than your average above-average Joe in the matter.  I.e. some authors might write extra long books or do an above average amount of research before publishing (Wheel of Time, Clan of the Cave Bear, religious flyers), but posting 200 of our rough 600 pages of material for a bunch of books doesn't even come close to a single 1000-page Jordan novel.  (Unless our pattern continues and we only post 2,000 of 6,000 pages, which may or may not happen, we'll see.)  Also, given a new medium, perhaps we're doing less than we should be doing!  So we're back to our answer: how are we improving?  Not at all!
    (Except, of course, in our subliminal reverse psychology update techniques that ensure you we're making exponential progress while we're really not via the absurd contradiction to that fact above and the even more confusion comment coming up.)
    (See?  It's working.)
    (Now go give us money so we can afford to write our stuff.)
    (And check back.)