The writer gets the characters together, puts them in situations, shows their backbone – or lack of – and pushes them through plots and troubles until the lesson is learned, the question is answered, the world is set right – or the consequences are clear for all to see.
That’s how a writer does it, but do they make the story for themselves?
I’m a writer, and I write stories, but are they my stories? Are they about me, or for me, or is it something else, something more?
The stories I write have some parts of me in there. Experiences, extrapolations from events, moments, traumas. Sometimes, they’re built into much more than the reality, but that reality was mine at the time, and the story is borrowing the context of the moment, not the reality.
So, whose reality is it?
Characters aren’t real, except in the mind of the reader (okay, I admit to visualising the character as real when I’m creating their story). It’s what they go through that’s real. The struggles, internal and external, belong to a real person, demonstrate a real event, or a real fear, or something about life that’s hard, or emotional, or necessary if unlikeable.
The subtext of the story is real to the reader if the character is real enough as their story is read.
And the question of Who is the Story for?
That’s answered by the person who’s reading it at this moment. If it’s real enough in their mind, it’s their journey, a metaphor of life for that person, at that time.
The story is a long metaphor to demonstrate something the reader feels is reality.
It should be a longer piece, as there’s so much to dig into in this topic, but I have one usable hand (four fingers, now that the lh thumb isn’t playing the game after the abuse it has copped since the other one went on strike).