Fiction is hell.
Not one word will seep from my pitiful brain on to this accursed page. I don’t have a single idea worth the spirit-sapping monotony of 12pt Courier. My paragraphs are formatted to double-spaced lines, but you couldn’t tell – you’d need two lines.
It was all going so well. I’d read about creative writing; I even did a course.
Back then I was happy, naïve. Everything seemed sprinkled with potential; every real-life encounter manifested an event to be mastered; in every sunrise shone the promise of perfect prose.
I was a poacher in training, yet to set forth upon a hunt in the wilderness of imagination.
Allow me to labour the analogy, by way of a huntsmen’s gear.
Compass: 250-word limit.
Map: the hero’s journey.
- Everyman protagonist encounters a problem that threatens catastrophe.
- Protagonist embarks on a quest into a strange world.
- Protagonist is confronted with a terrible ordeal, and, at their lowest ebb, all seems lost.
- Protagonist prevails!
A duck call: the literary lures.
- Add drama by starting in the middle.
- Use flashback to reveal character, back-story.
- Inject metaphor into the beating veins of the story.
- Incorporate self-referential meta-humour.
- Insert thematic bookends.
And of course, The rifle: my word processor, before which I sit – alas, lost for words.
All this preparation, all this training, and I forgot to pack bullets – imagination bullets. Can’t take it anymore.
But wait… My writer’s anguish is the tale; my creative block the ordeal. The protagonist prevails!