Bear with me on this one, because I’m going to be discussing incomplete story drafts of mine, and I only want to discuss them in the abstract, because I still like the core ideas in the stories in question, and I’m not the kind of writer who likes to workshop in the middle of the first draft. Maybe I’ll return with a follow-up analysis if I can successfully return and finish the first drafts in question someday.
I’ve noticed a micro-trend in a subset of the stories I’ve been writing lately. The trend starts in this way: I have an idea for a story in a world which is slightly different from the world we inhabit in some fundamental way. This isn’t too hard to do. You just let the reader assume that the world in the story is mostly like the one they already know, while also letting them know (ideally, in a subtle way), that it is different.
Fine, so that’s easy enough. Only, in the case of the anonymous incomplete stories I’m referencing, my micro-trend continues with my brain deciding to turn away from this new world, in a different direction. The unfortunate consequence is that I’ve now abstracted my story away from a place where the reader can keep up.
I guess this is hard to illustrate without specifics.
I guess this entry is also evidence of the ongoing struggle in my brain between thinking in the abstract, and thinking at the practical, visceral level needed for good storytelling.
Like I said, maybe I’ll revisit this topic once I’ve successfully finished these stories.