Stories are hard, I think. I can think of scenes – scene after scene after scene – but stories? Stories are hard. I’m not really sure why I find stories hard – and I mean proper, structured stories with a beginning, middle, and end – but I do. I start writing and I’ll be honest, half the time, I don’t even know where it’s going and then I get stuck and I’ve got a scene with no real purpose. Is that just me or does that happen to anyone else?
There are so many stories too. Whether there really are only seven basic plots or not, there seems to be an endless stream of stories out there in the world. What makes me think I am capable of coming up with something different, something original in amongst the sea of others? Maybe I can’t. Maybe no-one can.
But then, maybe I can. The world is made up of so many different people after all – different people with different knowledge and different experiences, different thoughts and feelings. Each person is an original, they are individual and different from everyone else in the whole world. Why is it so far-fetched to think they could come up with something original, something different in amongst that sea, that ocean of words and stories that had flooded the world in the last God-knows how many years? It can’t be that far-fetched.
Doesn’t mean it’s not hard, though. So perhaps, whilst we’re trying to find that spark of newness, we can be happy with a scene that is enjoyable or interesting or shows talent but that doesn’t necessarily lead anywhere – what’s so wrong with that? Perhaps, with enough scenes, we’ll find that spark and the story will come.
One thing’s for sure though, we’ve got to keep writing and that’s one thing I’ve failed at recently. It’s no good making excuses – I’ve been busy or I’ve had a lot going on. One day, I’ll be dead. One day, I’ll be dying and I won’t be thinking “I wish I’d spent more time playing Tetris and watching silly sitcoms on Netflix.” What I’ll be thinking is all that time spend playing mindless computer games could have been spent doing something I love, something like writing. I don’t want to think that when I’m dying. I want to think “I’ve had a good life. I’ve had balance. I’ve worked hard but enjoyed myself too. I’ve taken pleasure in living and I’ve given pleasure to others too. And I haven’t wasted my time on energy-sappers or mindless nonsense. Instead, I’ve focused on what I love. I’ve ignored the lethargy, got over my natural instinctive laziness, and written loads and loads. I’ve written some good stuff and I’ve written some shockingly bad stuff, but I’ve done it and that’s what counts.”
Perhaps, by the time I get to my deathbed (and I dearly hope that’s a long way away), and by the time I’ve written all those things I hope – I am – going to write, I will have gotten the hand of those blasted stories and overcome my lone-scene habit. Perhaps, by that time, I’ll have pulled out my string of originality and come up with a story that’s actually got a beginning, a middle, and an end. Now imagine that!