P.W. Creighton

It's The Unanswered Questions That Haunt Us...

Defining the Scope

Much like a painter who uses both broad and elegant brush-strokes to draft their work, a writer chooses subtle and overt elements to craft their narrative. As the narrative is created often the author can unintentionally define the scope of their work.


Through overt references, a writer produces long, broad brush-strokes to give frame to the entire piece. Elements such as genre and even antagonists can define the scope of a narrative. The broad brush-strokes can determine the appeal of piece for an audience. Is it the right tone? Genre? Any number of larger strokes can be used to draw in an audience or turn one away but the details can ultimately determine the success of the narrative.

After the large sweeping brush-strokes frame the piece the finer work comes into focus. The first detail that comes into focus is the main character. Their gender, attitude and especially their voice can determine the gestalt. Are they male or Female? Are they a hard-boiled detective or a devoted wife? The minute strokes used in detailing a character will ultimately determine the relatability of the audience to the piece.

While the audience inspects the piece they begin to identify the details surrounding the subject. The very backdrop,setting, will assist the audience in seeing the subject in greater detail. Is it a rural landscape or a city?

To bring out contrast in the work complimentary colors are chosen to support and define details. In a narrative the colors of the piece are tone and conflict. Respectively as the colors are selected and added to the piece, the piece brings out appeal and contrast. While tone must remain intact for piece, conflict can be spread throughout to add points of interest and keep the attention of the audience. Misuse of color can result in the failure of a piece, the narrowing of  scope either subtly or drastically. Is the antagonist aiming for global destruction or Hell bent on destroying the lives of a few? Are the conflicts well constructed so that they are part of the piece or almost random?

As the audience takes a step back to observe the piece as a whole, they look at it with their own perspective to bring their own interpretation of the work. When perspective is applied, the piece either comes to life as the creator intended or fails due to the inconsistencies in the gestalt.

Through broad strokes to frame the piece and details to define the subject of the piece a narrative's reach is determined. Its breadth and scope both for the narrative itself and for the potential audience.

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