Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chess anyone?

It is impossible to win gracefully at chess. No man has yet said "Mate!" in a voice which failed to sound to his opponent bitter, boastful and malicious. ~A.A. Milne
So you were anticipating a blog post about the correlation between writing and chess? Well let me tell you, I can give a really good analogy of a chess/life scenario but I’ve really got to work on the writing/chess scenario.

Okay where do I begin? I’ll start with the white side. This is the team I always go for in playing chess. It reminds me of purity and all that that entails. Strength,wisdom, knowledge,etc.

In writing, the white team can be visualized as the protagonist, or the good guy. The dudley-do-right, the main character of the story. Then we have the black team and they are the antagonist, the bad guys, the dark force, the one or ones that will be causing all kinds of trouble in the story.

We have pawns on both sides, correct? The same powerful pieces standing behind the pawns on both sides too. The pawns can be seen as the disposable characters, if you will. Now you have all of these characters standing behind you vying for a place so lets give them a place.

The rook will be the homestead or the solid foundation of your story, the dark side has an ominous looking castle which probably houses Count Dracula or some other dark figure.

The knight will be the character in your story that does all the fighting for you. They don’t call it the Knight in shining armor for no reason at all. He just might save, your damsel in distress. The dark fights for the light, the light normally wins IN THE END, hopefully, with fingers crossed, the Light will win. (emphasis on WILL win)

Then we have the bishops. They can be your moral compass. The bishop can stand for our values, beliefs, hope, faith and promise. The good seed buried in all of us that sometimes we call a conscious. Now the dark bishop is who in your story? Well it’s the dark force or the bad seed that will not and can not take root because you’ve given him/it no fertile soil in which to grow. He is going to be the turmoil around every corner in your story.

Ah, now we have the king and queen. This will be the strong lead characters in your story who eventually are left standing with the dark side (king and queen) all alone on that big checkered board, or white paged palette we call a storyboard.

What do we do in this position? We do what any good writer would do and that is knock the pants off of the Dark Force and we have our main characters all full of light left standing in a triumphant glow of completion. Check Mate!

Does any of this make sense? Well to my demented writers brain it does. Look out Stephen King, I figured you out! Now lets see if I can see what gardening and writing have in common. Okay, I’m kidding! (not really)

Now we know what makes a story so what are you waiting for? Why are you sitting here reading, shouldn’t you be writing? 


'Tis all a chequer board of nights and days,
Where destiny with men for pieces plays;
Hither and thither, and mates, and slays.
~Edward Fitzgerald


~Jan said...

Good question, at the end of your post, there. I'm sitting here reading instead of writing because this is such a fascinating blog--I'm glad I stumbled on it today. www.1hundred-words.com

joni said...

Thanks Jan!
I'm glad you stumbled upon it too, and sure hope you stumble in again.
Now be careful, all that stumdling, you could get hurt. :)

Thanks for visiting!