Elyssa East also does a marvelous job of braiding together two stories in her book Dogtown: Death and Enchantment in a New England Ghost Town, about a mysterious and abandoned settlement in Massachusetts that was the site of a murder in She braids together the story of that murder and the search for the killer with her own investigations into the history of the place and the many rumors that swirled around it throughout centuries.
A braid is also an interesting way to move between the past and the present, in either a memoir or a novel. When is a braid not a braid? In a braid, the parallel stories move forward in time in a chronological way. This brings up one of the interesting distinctions between a braid and a collage. In a collage, vignettes are usually assembled out of order. But then he settles in for the story and the book proceeds, as a good braid does, moving forward chronologically in time, but with so many strands that the resulting braid is as complex as the topic, yet addictively easy to follow.
What makes the difference between a braid and a subplot? Another good question. Most novels have subplots, which are used to give depth or contrast to the main plot. And most subplots move forward chronologically along with the main story. But these subtleties do point out that the braid is simply a handy way to talk about a structure. Nor is it set in stone. A braid can be a notion you try and discard, letting your story develop its own structure.
Or it can dissolve into multiple subplots as in Bleak House. Braids also are a natural way to create suspense. Any time you are dealing with a complicated story with many elements, thinking of it as a braid may help you sort it out.
As I worked on my notes for this workshop, I realized that my essay could be broken into three strands, each with its own forward momentum:. My friend, Dan Loewenstein, suggested that the way to approach that topic would be to break it down into three parts:.
When you write a braided essay, the fragmentation allows you, almost forces you, not to approach this material head on but to search for a more circuitous way into it. You must expand your peripheral vision, focusing on images that at first se4emed oblique to the stories. The braided form also allows a way for research and outside voices to intertwine with your own voice and experience. Structures should resonate with the content of a story. Another way to learn the form is to try it out.
These were suggestions from the class. Some of these might be braids.
Some of these might not. Feel free to do that on your own. After the class, I also remembered that The Source by James Michener uses a braid format, in that there is a contemporary story of archaeologists uncovering artifacts at a tell and intervening chapters that tell the story of the lives of the people who lived there over centuries. I think, however, that it goes backwards in time, rather than forwards since the oldest artifacts would be uncovered last.
I mentioned Harold Robbins in the class. Obviously the thread that connects them is death, but she manages, as she goes along, to wring out every bit of resonance, possible in image and language. Please comment if you have questions, corrections or other suggestions for great examples of braided pieces.
She has store on Etsy called ValkyrieOfOdin. Enjoyed your latest newsletter. Thanks for the summary of braid and collage structure. I am working on a novel which I am trying to get a handle on, but it keeps shifting underneath my pen. I am working with Ms P. Long on it, but I am thinking that your novel writing class, may be a way of keeping me focused. I stumbled on this blog post today looking for information about braiding memoir.
What a great find and thank you so much for this detailed description, terrific examples, and a way forward. I do think my memoir would benefit from this technique. So, again, thank you for the post! I am working on a query to an agent and am not sure how I can explain my braided memoir. The main story is how I dealt with mental illness by having adventures that although scary were good ways to deal with my anxiety. Do I say. Thank you. Great question. I might use parallel narrative if one strand of the braid is progressing in a different time frame than the other strand of the braid.
But either term would be correct and would be understood by an agent. I think you just want to make clear what the two or three strands of the braid are. Thanks much for the breakdown on slant and collage. Just based on the many topics that could be included in an essay on clothing, fabric and color, and how they appeal to, empower, protect and affect us, it sounds more like a collage than a braid. I think for a braid to work best you want to have clearly distinct strands whereas with a collage you can include more variety. Let me know when you publish it. Sounds fascinating!perloorsdistprosex.tk
20 Stunning Braided Hairstyles for Natural Hair
I like this. The title promises a conclusion of how several things fit together, so it would be natural to tie the bow on the package, at the end, with just that. Could you say more, give an example or two?
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Thanks for asking about this, Mary. I use the Circle framework to talk about a story that starts at the end and then goes back to the beginning and proceeds forward until it reaches the end, again. A rare form really, although one sees it sometimes in stories particularly fictional biographies of famous people who are supposedly reviewing their life at the end of it. I also see it occasionally used for trauma stories—the trauma happens, then we see why it matters so much by describing the events leading up to it and the people affected, and then the trauma happens again at the end.
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Here you can see a couple cornrows already finished and another section being prepared for braiding. Repeat the braiding process all the way around the head, making sure to part sections the same size. This is a simple and basic cornrow style. The parts are straight and the size is uniform. It's a good style for children which can stay neat for a week or two as long as silk or satin caps or scarves are placed over the hair at nighttime. This style isn't just for kids or professional athletes. It's also a good style for women who want to give their hair a break from chemical treatments or heat styling.
If you don't want to wear plain cornrows, you can add ponytail extensions or an Afro puff extension for a different look.
Braiding Your Writing
How to Braid: Tutorial for Beginners
At the hairline, divide the hair section into three equal parts as you would to begin any braid. Begin Braiding Small Section. Begin to braid the small section of hair at the hairline. Add Hair as You Braid.
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Continue Braiding and Adding Hair to the Cornrow.