A while back I wrote a nice setting. It was a moment, compelling but worthless without a context. I let it sit for a while, then picked it up and clothed it in an idea. It was a good read, a good idea, and I liked it, but it left me unsatisfied. Even as I considered where to submit it, I knew there was something missing.

I sent it to a couple of friends. One, I think, is so busy criticizing utter crap that when she recognized that it was not crap, that was about all she had to offer. The other, fortunately for me, is not constantly barraged for criticism (if word got out how good he is at it, that would change). I sent him the prose and he  sent me back pure gold.

What was missing with this cool moment wrapped in a great idea was a story. My job is telling stories. Maybe the story will teach you something or maybe it will make you think or maybe it will make you chuckle, but in the end, it’s a story. That’s all. Some storytellers touch closer to the heart than others, and they get the Big-A Artist label put on them, but ultimately that just means they are very good storytellers.

It is fiction that separates man from the beasts. (That, and the ability to misuse tools.)

So there I was, inspired, wrapping the chocolaty story goodness around all that intellectual nougat, when suddenly, I find I have to define the nature of death in one easy sentence that won’t interrupt the narrative. Bam. Just like that. Out of nowhere comes the moment that decides the story. It’s off-plot but I like sneaky messages. One phrase.

No better time to break off and write a blog episode. Maybe I’ll pull that one phrase off, maybe not, but this candy bar is going to have crunchy bits. I love my job.

2 thoughts on “Blindsided

  1. Boy, if anybody ever needed a starting sentence, or maybe if CA is teaching writing and wants her students to finish a story from the line then this is solid A number one:

    It is fiction that separates man from the beasts. (That, and the ability to misuse tools.)

  2. It is the ability to misuse tools that separates man from the beasts, thought Flatus Tortiyas to himself, as he scratched at his ear drum with the standard-issue, roman short sword…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *