Post by lidar2 on Jan 6, 2020 10:44:49 GMT
Not sure if this is the best sub-board for this, but here goes anyway...
I was looking at the Davros Timeline on this forum and one of the issues was the placement of the framing sequence of I, Davros in which Davros is on trial. I personally find it hard to place and disagreed with some other posters' placements and as I was thinking about it, I thought to myself that it was a lot of bother and problems being caused by a short 2 minute sequence that was pretty superfluous anyway. Then I wondered why it had been felt necessary to have it in the first place - it doesn't really add any value or insights and I,Davros would work perfectly well without it.
That then got me thinking - why do so many stories have framing sequences? In the vast majority of cases they are totally superfluous book-ends.
Another recent example was the Omega Factor novel Festival of Darkness which is a story set in 1979 yet has a very short framing sequence at the beginning and end with Adam set in the present day. Again ... why? What does it really add? Wouldn't the novel have been just as good and worked just as well without it?
The 2 examples I have given are from BF, but the practice is not confined to BF and we can all think of lots of stories with such framing sequences.
I came up with 3 possible answers:
1. The framing sequences are actually integral to the main story and/or a separate story in their own right. A BF example of this would be the Sara Kingdom trilogy in the Companion Chronicles. The framing sequences are fair enough in this case, and there are others like it, but I would argue that such instances are the exception rather than the rule, especially in BF.
2. The framing sequences can make the body of the story more accessible to readers and/or are a jumping on point. That's fair enough for something like Wuthering Heights, where it builds the atmosphere and tension, but I'm not sure it applies to much of BF's output. Take the 2 examples above. In the case of I, Davros the framing sequence would probably make a casual listener more rather than less confused and as regards The Omega Factor novel I would be very surprised if there were very many (if any at all) casual listeners coming to it with no previous knowledge of the TV series.
3. Writers are simply doing it because it's "the done thing" without really thinking through logically the reasons why they are doing it and the benefits (if any) of doing so. I think in the majority of cases this is the reason why framing sequences seem to be so ubiquitous nowadays.
Anyway, enough said. Now that I have thought of it, it is rapidly becoming a bugbear for me. What does anyone else think?