Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Anatomy Of A Short Story

I usually post a new short story on Fridays, and this one was to be no different.  For the first time in a long time, I had a clear idea of what I was going to write well in advance of writing it.  There was a central character(based on current events) and a theme.  I even wrote about 90% of it and was within minutes of posting it when something happened that normally doesn't with me.

I hesitated.

Those who know me know I'm not normally one who shies away from controversy.  I always figure that it's better to get topics into the open so that they can get aired out rather than hide behind a tired morass of denial.  However, even I have limits, and I hit one in writing the story.

You see, my story was going to be about Robin Williams and the hell he must've been going through.  I wanted to use the post as a way to work through my feelings about him and his life, and as a way to try and understand what he felt.

Unfortunately, the more I wrote, the more I started to see that the post, regardless of intention, would be taken wrong by so many.  Courting some level of controversy is fine for writers since it can create a buzz, but too much can alienate readers, even if you never meant to do so.  I wanted readers to try and get what might've been in the mind of this tragic genius, but I realized that most would be unable to get beyond the initial shallow reading of the story and into the sincere and serious message I wanted to impart.

Therefore, I've shelved the story.  It's too soon, and the emotion is just too raw right now.  Perhaps I can take this as a lesson on timing and audience understanding.  Maybe one day the world will be ready for the story I envisioned, but I don't know when that might be.

A new story will come next week(I promise).  For now, I'll just contemplate what might've been.

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