WRITING: Is there a story?

Thoroughly pleased with myself on a new story–just the mere fact alone that I've started writing and finishing a story was pleasing enough–I wanted it to be read. Somewhere in the back of my semi-educated on literature mind I felt it was good, but something was lacking.

I recently read a short piece from an excellent writer–an acquaintance (no, not your's, Carolyn) whose style and imagery is exquisite and powerful and the work awed me. Then I read it again for inspiration to get me away from the Faulkner influence of "much ado about nothing" that was currently going on in my reading and I realized something: for all the whiz-bang writing there really was no story there. The character was dramatic and yet weak in that it all boiled down to a tantrum of angst.

I realized that this has always been my own problem with my writing and while keeping word addition to a minimum, managed to give the characters some character; the conflict a bit of resolution with a few simple interactions between them. The character sitting on the last stool at the counter faces something he's always avoided, but with one tiny act, having him look for the waitress before he takes off, there is an element of change to the character, a depth, a hope for him if not a life-changing decision made.

There are still some lines to take out now that I've added; maybe a reading of Neruda to help me tap into the beauty of brevity, but I think today's work has improved greatly on what I thought was finished product. Silly me; it never is.

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