And What is a Story?

In the beginning, it was savage and stern, a blackness of soul.

It began like a tree of precocious growth, with rings of power and leaves of glinting copper, with fruit of gems and shafts of light that stabbed the night.

The story I conceived was full-term, ready to burst forth, yet not developed enough to be born. It was drafted and swollen with red and blue veins, throbbing with life.

To ensure it lived beyond me, it needed help. I cannot birth it alone.

I review and revise and rewrite and send it out for others to see the shape and bare the flaws, to help create a new world, to live among these hopeful characters who quest to become more, and real, and part of the mythos of a tale that lives beyond time, beyond death, to shine a light where once was darkness.

The editors enter the fray, and line up their knives to undertake slaughter. The metaphoric fruit harangued to bitterness, crushed to dust, the taste and soaring colour made bitter.

The cuts sought death, not life.

Several drafts later, and the knives and cleavers laid aside, I see the reduction of meaning, loss of depth, a dearth of emotion. A sad tome, a wounded beast taped up with terseness and scars that damaged and flensed, and yet freed. It breathes.

The story journey languished in a forest dark, and night not yet fallen.

Where was the summit? Where the escape from the scrutiny of those who seek death? Each word sliced and tested for efficacy, removed from the dance within the shafts of moonlight against a sky filled with more stars than eternity.

The beasts changed the story of danger and fear to something different, softer, less severe. One element remained true, the subtitle: All hope abandon, ye who enter.

These words I beheld, obscure and profound. It lay before me, a created eterne if I entered that world, lay aside arrogance and rage and pain to take the journey to remove the blinders.

A final journey of many steps, the path unknown, dark and terrible. To lay bare the secrets of a story well-told, to awaken passion within the hearts of other than mine alone.

And I enter, knowing the straightforward path was lost.

Cowardice must needs be extricated, lethargy blasted from inactions, the story reformed into a fight for existence.

Wounds lay bared to cold, lost words as smoke from forest fires. The path cleared, the darkness replaced by a star, another, another. Bright, shiny sparks of enlightenment. The story heart beats stronger.

I dream. Of course, I dream.

A Sleeping Cat Dreams

6 thoughts on “And What is a Story?

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