the silent stones
Do you ever feel like that as you wade through writing a long piece of fiction? I get lost in the middle, I know the beginning and the ending, it's all that middle.
I've been reading and researching and came across the term, The Throughline of Your Story. Terribleminds.com puts it this way" The throughline is an invisible thread that binds your story together. It comprises those elements that are critical to the very heart of your tale 'these elements needn't be the same for every story you tell but should remain the same throughout a given story. You don't switch horses in midstream, after all. Because that's just silly. You have a horse. You're in the middle of a stream. That horse over there, you can't trust him. He might be a total dick. Plus, if you leave your current horse, you'll hurt his horsey feelings. Do you want that on your conscience? Can you handle seeing your ex-horse try to drown himself. Plus, if you leave your current horse, you'll hurt his horsey feelings. Do you want that on your conscience? Can you handle seeing your ex-horse try to drown himself in the very stream you just crossed on another mount?
The throughline tangles up those handful of most critical elements and, if you'll permit me another meandering metaphor, is like the rope that the audience will use to pull itself through the story. If you do not provide an adequate throughline, offering only a weak tiny thread, your audience will quit your story. They's l go play video games, go out dancing, watch a movie. A story needs to feel like it holds water. Like it has been given over to unity and that it's not just a series of separate parts awkwardly trying to move along.. A throughline permeates. Maybe the audience realizes it "Oh my God, the color burnt umber has been important this whole time!" or maybe it's something that the audience unconsciously processes. Either way, it makes the story feel whole, so that it all ties together in a way that is both external and internal * we see the plot and characters have been driven by it and that the subtext and theme and other sub-rosa elements have fed into it, too.
A throughline can be built of anything. It can be:
Thematic: in which it reflects your theme.
Character: in which it reflects a character trait, arc, relationship, goal, or fear.
Plot: in which it references a certain type of plot event or mystery.
Motif: in which it reflects recurring imagery and/or metaphor.
Mood: in which it reflects* uhh, do I need to spell it out? M O O N spells *mood.*
Language: in which it reflects a recurring word or idea or harnesses a specific style.
And there's probably others. Any element you can draw out of your story and carry across the whole thing would count as a throughline. Throughlines can be external or internal (and in a perfect world cover both).
HOW YOU USE IT: THE EASY VERSION
The simple version is choose three core elements (*core elements* is probably redundant, shut up) that will carry through your story. Describe these elements in no more than a single phrase or sentence.
So, for instance, you might have:
*John will do anything to prove his love for Esmerelda.*
*An aura of hopelessness.*
Then, you want to ensure that every chapter touches on at least one of these throughlines.
If you're writing a screenplay, assume (arbitrarily, I know) that every five pages constitutes a new chapter.
That's it. That's the easy version.
Enough for now. This was taken from Terribleminds.com (it is a site that uses lots of potty language, but if you cut through the crap, it makes a lot of sense. That's what I've tried to do here.