Wednesday, June 20, 2007
I should be writing a story right now. I should be doing lots of things. However, here is something I've been thinking about. I have a great idea for a story, but it refuses to become a story. I'll repeat that: a great idea, but no story.
I think several people do that. They write something which has tremendous potential, a setup, a situation, but then it never matures into anything. The story I'm suffering with? A Hemingway fanatic finds an unpublished copy of a new Heminway novel on a book shelf. Or rather, it's been published, but he knows there's no record of the book. Taking it to the front of the store, the owner admits its a fraud. What we discover is that there is something magical about this bookstore and unpublished, or rather, unwritten works, keep appearing on this one shelf. Books by Tolstoy, Steinbeck, Berry, Baum, etc... And when these works are read, the reader finds oneself incredibly unfulfilled.
"These are the dreams that never blossomed," explains the owner. "These are the seeds that bear false fruit."
Great idea, great setting, great characters...and after three pages of waiting for the story to happen...nothing. Instead, I sit there and think: So what? So this guy finds this book? So the work is unfulfilling? So the shelf keeps replenishing with never before published manuscripts. So? So? So??????
It's a great set up, but I've yet to hook on the delivery. I'm a master at set up, but still a wee one at delivery, I think. And yet? And yet I've read several short stories by the likes of Bradbury, Bloch, Bentley, and King which seem all set up.
I'm returning to my notebook now to see if I can swing that bat and make that delivery. Here's to all who are plugging away at something, trying to find that nugget in all that fool's gold.