The structure of this long story I’m writing closely resembles that Dr. Dre album The Chronic 2001. I realized this yesterday–there’s something that happens in the middle of the album, in “The Next Episode”, that’s important to the way the album works. The thing that provides a way for the album to end is introduced. Snoop Dogg, who so far has been serving the other rappers, introducing them, saying how great they are and then disappearing, finally, in “The Next Episode”, actually raps. And the effect of this is that the tone of the album changes and what’s underlying most of the earlier posturing–insecurity about sex, which so far has been masked by Dr. Dre’s insecurities about whether he’s still badass, the baddest–finally begins to be addressed. Then there’s that interlude, “Ed-Ucation”–but I think this couldn’t have happened without Snoop.

Anyway, I think that in the story I’m writing, and maybe in stories and novels generally, there is an element like Snoop that begins to assert itself around the middle, to begin resolving with its own imperfections some of the earlier tensions, and that without this, the story can’t rest.