Today, our winner for the WEP Peace and Love challenge, Dolorah, is using her guest post to educate us some more on 'bridges.' It is an entertaining post, so I hope you enjoy it and that is sparks something for the June BRIDGES challenge.
When I think of bridges, I almost always think of literary bridges. Probably because I'm a bit intimidated by physical bridges. I love them of course, in pictures and paintings. Or staring at them across a river bank They are majestic, a feat of engineering beauty. I love looking at art with bridges and tunnels; I like jig saw puzzles and bridges are my favorites to assemble, and I'm even hoping to erect a foot-bridge in my yard across a drainage ditch. But I have to admit that many times in my adult life, especially at night, I've traveled as much as five minutes out of my way to avoid a bridge or tunnel.
I know this is an irrational fear. I am not afraid of trolls collecting their fees (I'm actually comforted by the toll booths erected at mid point); I am not swayed by billy goats offering fatter byways for passage; and I'm not worried that the physical structures are fragile and doomed to fall into the depths of non-existence.
Perhaps my irrational fear of bridges has more to do with my dislike of tight places, and height. Bridges are high above empty spaces, and are closely confined. No matter how long or wide or tall, there is no flexibility of movement. Once you enter the confines, there is no turning back, or veering off to the side for a quick exit. Perhaps this is why bridges collect spirits or ghosts; the victims felt confined in life, and thus are unable to move on after death.
In the literary or metaphorical sense, a bridge can be described as a crossing, a connection, a transition, or a passage spanning two concepts. In terms of crafting a plot, it could be the transition between the crux (the culmination of all the disjointed threads) and the end. That point where the tension is so intense the reader has to read on to see if their conclusions are accurate, despite kids needing to be picked up from school, the husband demanding dinner, the need to pee, or the boss calling to see why you're late for work.
By design, bridges are a mid-point, a transition; but do not always have to be "the middle" in writing. For instance, a literary bridge for a character could be an "aha" moment in the first few scenes where they recognize who/what they are isn't working in their life, and a change must be made. A catalyst (monumental event) could also be a bridge: say a friend asks for advice and the woman realizes the advice she gives could also apply to her own life, so she takes her own advice and makes a life changing decision. The story itself is that life transition, but the bridge is the moment of recognition.
Or a middle aged man dreams of a tryst with a younger woman, yet when faced with the opportunity he envisions his daughter’s face and this revelation reconnects him to his wife through a series of romantic gestures. The story is how he recaptures his waning relationship; the bridge is the moment he realizes he needs to change. Regardless of the genre, each scene is a bridge to the next scene, all connected to the chapter plot, and each chapter is another connection to the overall story plot.
Academics, finances, relationships, children, career opportunities; all can be bridges or passages into new experiences, or just to cement an ambiguous decision. In writing, the transitions and passages are as limitless as the author's imagination.
My own "bridge" into the writing world came at a very low point in my life. I had lost a job, was in dire straits, and began to write a story just to fill my time. It eased my stress. I enjoyed writing so much that I continued even after I obtained employment.The blogging/writing community has been a bridge of sorts to me; it allows me to meet other authors, I've gained resources and education, learned techniques from a variety of writing teachers and peers, and honed my craft enough to become published in several anthologies. And, to win the coveted prize in WEP.
Regardless of how you view a BRIDGE - as a physical edifice spanning the distance over a chasm, or as a metaphorical transition between two emotional states - there is no denying that writing that story will bridge the distance between Author and Reader.
Thank you Denise and Yolanda for allowing me to take over the blog today.
And here is a promo for our BRIDGES challenge taken from the UP-COMING CHALLENGES FOR 2017 PAGE ABOVE.
Prisoners of war building a bridge, thinking of loved ones, inspiration to survive...Bridge over the River Kwai, The Narrow Road to the Deep North, the Bridges of Madison County...
Engineers building a bridge that collapses...
Building bridges after a feud
Water under the bridge--let bygones be bygones