I sent a friend a recent story; she had time to read, locked away a week up at the lake with a husband tied up on computer and telephone to his job. As an afterthought I sent a story written a few months back; one well received by a class of writers and one I really didn’t think highly of at all. She didn’t get and didn’t like the new one; loved the one loved by all but me.
Why do I not like the one? Because a lot of it is based upon reality and so I feel like it is cheating as a fiction piece and yes I know that all fiction must be based on some foundation of reality and is fictionalized by the imagination. This one happened to bear a lot more reality, however, than world experience.
Why did it go over so well then, against the ones more literary–or so I thought? Because of voice. I’m guessing that it is more honest and therefore less contrived and so the voice is pure. A friend has written some stories that just swell with personality because of voice. Yet I make the mistake of questioning the voice because it is so very like the writer that I wonder at the creativity of it all.
Nothing like writing for a number of years and coming smack dab against a wall of learning something new.