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Story. Capital S.

April 25, 2011

I have decided. The story, that’s the easy part. You know, the basic outline.

Next, the easy part is the sentences. I like pretty sentences, sentences that are purely mine – in my unique, verbose, complicated, wordy voice. I find the sentences flow, when I’m in the groove. When my muse shows up. When the spark catches and fire and magic happens. When that happens, I feel like a vessel, a pass-through. It’s not me writing, it’s the sentences, writing themselves.

The hard part, I think, is crafting the sentences and the story into a Story. Capital S. Weaving the sentences, placing them in the disctinctly correct order that will cause them to meld, to bond, to gel, to become a Story. 

I have revised my characters’ names. I’m trying to let them tell their Stories in their own ways, and I have started over a couple of times. And today, after I wrote a long ranty thing to get the rantiness out of my head, I had an epiphany, of sorts, about the main character and her story and her Story and why it wasn’t working.

It’s not that the story was wrong; oh, no. The story is right. But I was trying to make her tell too much of it. She has a history of holding back, so no way is she leading with what should be the dramatic climax! Good God, woman! THINK for a minute before you start writing!

This woman, she is also a liar. So why would she lead with the truth? OF COURSE she would do things under false pretenses! She’s a manipulator, so she would definitely not allow you to see her true intentions from the first day. She’s private and scared and scarred and the victim of her own stupidity about human nature and assumptions and needs to be the master of the puppets, er – people, around her. So OF COURSE she’s going to do that again, this time, the biggest time.

***

I hate the idea of revision. Maybe that’s why I keep revising it in my head, when I’m only a few thousand words in. That way it’s right when I get it on paper. These characters have been wandering around in my head for a couple-three-five years now. Maybe this time I’m finally hearing them.

Maybe this time I can tell their Stories. Her Story. Which is, ultimately of course, my own story.

All fiction is autobiographical fiction, I don’t care what they tell you.

We are all, in whatever way we choose to create things, just trying to tell our own Stories. Capital S.

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