22 May 2014 § 2 Comments
Sometimes we tell stories over and over again to find out their significance to us. Just as it is common to see something new in a film one has watched multiple times, a connection which binds the characters closer may reveal itself in the hundredth telling of a story that didn’t seem to exist before.
The audience plays a large part in the development of story: pertinent questions, feedback, and criticism reflect holes, irrelevant information; it can help connect important, but perhaps misplaced, fragments. Pieces gathered during immersion.
Any story can be told from an experience. A picnic can be a sweetbitter serenade, or it can be a vicious slaughter of the ant-thieves. An arduous mountain ascent can be a reconciliation, or a cold lesson in compassion. To misquote the Beatles, perspective is all you need.
For months, I’ve been telling the same story over again, as if it was the only one. Every telling has had the same ending: I don’t know.
Which isn’t much of an ending at all. It’s a clue, however, that I’m still in it, still discovering characters, their roles, and the story’s plot points.
In this particular narrative, character becomes audience, and becomes character again. Insists that his input is important to the story, “so put it in the story!” The character wants to know why the narrator is there. Narrator as character: first person.
I imagine Ed Gish saying, does the architect reveal his plans? No, he builds the fucking building, and lets everyone marvel. No one cares what nails were used, how long the concrete took to dry, or which trusses support the heaviest loads. They care about having a place to live or work, and if it looks good, that’s great. If the building is energy efficient, made of recycled materials, or wins design awards, those are bonuses. The building is the point.
The story is the point.
This is a terrible time to write! The concrete is still being poured.