Okay, so why was I asking about the spiral?
Because when I conceive of a story, in my mind it really has too main forms. The first is as a sphere that simultaneously expanding explosively from its nucleus and contracting in from the perimeter. The second is as a spiral. I have no idea how to even begin working with the first as a structure for writing. The spiral seems more attainable.
At first, it didn't seem doable either.
Then, as I was staring at picture after picture of spiral, this description popped in my head:
A line that starts at one point and then curls around itself without intersecting.
Suddenly, a spiral seemed like it might have a literary form, after all. It's a line, so it's linear -- it's just curled about. It still has a start and a finish and a progression. And if the rings are like electron shells, there's more energy and chaos in the outer shells. So the story passed through similar axes, but with greater distance and greater disorder on its way to an ending.
But I struggle with visual and spatial thinking, so I wanted to get some more input on what spirals are. If you missed it, please go read all the wonderful comments. You guys were amazing, no joke.
So here are some other things I gleaned from your comments, as I might apply them to writing in a spiral:
- There's a center point, an anchor, something that's always within sight from all positions of the story.
- It is winding path toward collapse.
- The direction can take you more tightly to the axis, or more loosely away from it.
- The start is nearer to the point than the end.
- There's a sense in which the direction of the story could go either way.
- Like a slinky, the story is subject to other external motions that can tip and topple it.
- It's not actually necessary that a story end.
- The story can be horizontal (social movement) or vertical (individual movement).
- Depending on if you're spiraling out or spiraling in, the motion may be expansive or constricting.
I think there's a lot of cool stuff there, and I think I begin to understand how to structure a story in a spiral way, and what that would mean.
What do you guys think? Anything in there strike you? Anything other lessons for writing from the spiral that I've overlooked?
Maybe it's just me, but I think this is really exciting!