In Great Rock n’ Roll Pauses, the plot revolves around the narrator, Ally, and her family over two days. We are introduced to the characters and their personalities through slides that Ally makes. We learn that Ally’s brother Lincoln is obsessed with pauses in rock n’ roll songs. Sasha, her artist mother with a mysterious past, is supportive while Drew, the father who works as a doctor, just doesn’t quite get it. The conflict in the story focuses on Drew’s difficulty connecting and understanding his son, ultimately leading to a dispute. A secondary conflict is Ally’s probing into her mother’s past. Ally even says at one point,
“My job is to make people uncomfortable”
“I will do it all my life”
After the argument, Drew calms down and apologizes to a distraught Lincoln. Some time later, Drew and Ally take a walk in the desert. She asks Drew about his past, and he answers, a stark contrast to Sasha. Ally talks about pauses, telling her father a way he can make up with Lincoln. The slideshow ends with graphs of pauses in rock n’ roll songs, effectively revealing the resolution of conflict. I do believe we were able to see inner change from Ally and Drew. Ally gains a stronger appreciation for her family and Drew finally makes an attempt to connect with Lincoln. I’m not so sure about Sasha and Lincoln.
While I had some difficulty understanding the structure of the story at first, I was quickly enamored by it. I believe the diagrammatic form helped me see the story from the narrator’s point of view better. It also allowed for more information that added to the world of the story, without interrupting the main storyline. Emphasis on pauses using blank slides and boxes had enormous impact that may have been difficult to convey if the author were to use the diagrammatic form of books we are typically used to reading.
I never would have thought to write a story in this format. I struggle with words often. To see a story executed in this manner is honestly so helpful in seeing how I can push the boundaries of storytelling.