Reader Interpretations and Hidden Implications

One of the amusing things there is to assembling Beyond the Tree is when people present their own interpretations on what happened on a certain page or what a particular peice of dialogue meant. Some conclusions are right on, others are completely off the track and some are so completely seperate from anything I tried to hint at that I find myself trying to figure out how exactly that interpretation even became possible.

I admit there’s been comments I’ve read both of the nature where I’ve thought “Wow, got it in one.” as well as ones of “Heh.. if you only knew…!”. It’s fun to see what people make of it, what things actually come across and what ones don’t. And since I can’t actually ask specifically without informing, I’m left mostly silently watching and amusing myself with the various interpretations there are.

I spend a whole lot of time thinking about how I can set things up now – small signs and portents dropped in plain view but never given conclusive context – that might not actually come to their full meaning until months ahead. Some of these are just simple hints, nudges of what might happen that people can pick up on but it isn’t necessary. Some others are red herrings, or hints disguised as red herrings – plot arrows that appear to point in one direction but on closer look or given proper context actually point somewhere else entirely. A third type are small, seemingly insignificant mentions of things that – when given context, later on – suddenly gain a whole new meaning.

I’m hoping that once I’m at a point where Story Arc One is over, you’d be able to re-read the whole thing from the beginning and have a completely different experience reading it compared to the first time as suddenly all these hints, nudges and passing mentions have context and suddenly have a deeper meaning to them that wasn’t visible before their eventual reveal later on. Because it is a very planned out story; sure, I’ve actually done some major tweaks and overhauls to it as it’s been running so far, and I’ll likely be doing more still as it develops and takes shape, but.. the core of it is still there, the main purpose of Story Arc One has never changed throughout its run, just the implications of it, how it affects the characters and how to make it flow better.

In the end, the story itself isn’t all that fantastic – it doesn’t have to be. The point isn’t the story, it’s the characters. It doesn’t really matter whether the final, pivotal moment of the story arc is something like an intense Chess match against Kil’jaeden, Out-drinking a Dwarven brewmaster or trying to punt young Anduin Wrynn across all of Stormwind without summoning the rage of his father – the important thing is that when the story comes to a close, the characters have changed.

Hani Foonmall and Rei Tiny will remain themselves, of course. But when Story Arc One comes to a close, they’ll be different people compared to who they were when it began. And so the challenges in whatever comes after will have to be different to match how they themselves have changed.

It’ll be an interesting journey, I’m hoping. I’m presently spending a fair bit of time scheming out rough drafts for key, pivotal moments of character development we’ll be seeing a few chapters ahead. Whereas the readerbase can look at what has been and look forward to what will be.. I look at what will be and can’t wait to reaching some of the moments so I can give them life and see the reactions to them.

Much will happen, in the long run. I doubt everyone will agree with everything, but there’s very few plot moments I haven’t spent a whole lot of time thinking of whether or not they make enough sense. 😉


1 Response to “Reader Interpretations and Hidden Implications”

  1. 1 Alexey
    December 25, 2009 at 21:29

    “Chess match against Kil’jaeden, Out-drinking a Dwarven brewmaster or trying to punt young Anduin Wrynn across all of Stormwind without summoning the rage of his father”

    I can’t imagine any situation being more epic than those three xD

    Keep the good work cause that is what we like: your amazing work!

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