The Art of Writing Fiction

If I were a smarter man I would have lived my life a bit differently than the way I have done it so far. There are more than a things that I would differently. If I were a smarter man I’d invent a time machine so that I could go back and make the changes or at least figure out a way to write a letter to myself. It is a common theme in movies, books and stories, the idea of getting to live life over that is.

But I wonder about the wisdom of trying to do things differently. I wonder how many good things would be lost and how many experiences changed in ways that would still bother me. If you have read this far you might be wondering when I am going to start talking about fiction or if I intend to do it at all. The answer is that you are already receiving the very fine JackB education in writing fiction.

Or perhaps it is more accurate to say that this post is me thinking out loud about how I write. In an upcoming post I”ll provide more of a clinical explanation of how to do it and things to consider. For now read on and enjoy.

And the story goes something like this but not quite.

“I never will forget those nights
i wonder if it was a dream
remember how you drove me crazy?
remember how i made you scream?

now i don’t understand what happed to our love
now baby gonna get you back
gonna show you what i’m made of…”

Boys of Summer– Don Henley

I tap into the scars that have never healed and listen to the music that takes me back to the moments that once were. I am a guest inside my own head and I watch the events of the past repeat and unfold for the millionth time. I see the boy who was and remember how she made him smile. I remember how her smile lit up the night sky and how addicting her smell was. It was more than just chemical, more than physiological- it was magical.

Inside my mind I see the moments that only we know about and feel the feelings that only we shared. It doesn’t matter whether others have felt or understood these things because the story isn’t about them- it is about us. It is about a boy who loved a girl so fiercely he feared his heart would break. It is about a girl who couldn’t wait any longer for the boy to get up the nerve to do what needed to be done and so she left.

It is about the struggles of the boy to try and understand what happened and how he fights to win her back. She never tells him yes and she never tells him no. She remains out there just out of reach. He has tried to walk away but hasn’t been able to do so. It is outside of his experience this inability to walk. His head is at war with his heart. Rational thought tells him to suck it up and accept that it is over. Human emotion tells him that there is more to this than crossing off X’s and O’s.

There are moments of rage and pain where he wonders how something so right could go so wrong.  Sometimes there are moments of ambivalence where he feels nothing. There was a time when that scared him because he had grown accustomed to the pain. It was like an old friend that would accompany him on walks through the woods.

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