Thursday, December 3, 2009

What does my story mean?

What does my story mean?
This question has bothered me. The story comes to me as I write. I have really no influence over it, except on the re-rite of course. But the first draft I have zero control over. I have a hard time finding what my story really means or should mean.

Every good story has a meaning behind it. Even though I fill my story is compelling and fulfilling. I struggle to see the greater picture.

All I can see is a struggle to become an adult in a violent world. Friends that would die by my main chars side if it came to it. A passion for life that drives him, no forces him to kill, and kill and kill. Is that good enough?

So I guess my main question is...
Does your story always have a greater meaning behind it, and do you always know it while writing? Or is it something you discover after it is done?

One more question if you'll bear with me...

Have you ever almost completed a story/novel and lose the love for it. Like the wind of love for the story does not blow your sails anymore, resulting in just bagging the whole thing and moving onto something else. I used to be able to write with passion and vigor, writing every second I could.
Now I force every page out and fill disconnected from my whole reason I began writing in the first place.

Thx for reading...


  1. I'm a woman with a lot to say. Because I always have a notion of social statements I want to say, I generally set up my story to say that and have characters in place designed to follow through with it. It's one of the advantages with science fiction and fantasy is that I can tailor make the story to suit my needs.

    I like a surface story that anyone can get, but I like to have subtle messages and lessons interpersed through it as well (I'm always amazed at who gets what - no one ever gets them all). But I want it to be entertaining, first and foremost. If people are bored, they won't learn any other thing I want to get across either.

    I think it's important to know what you're trying to say with any story, what point you're trying to make. It can help with focus and is essential, in my opinion, for rewrites, to know what you were trying to say so that you can trim side trips that don't contribute to the whole.

    I've lost my passion for a work (not near the end, but halfway through). I have a fourth Tarot Queen story where I know what I want to happen, but I can't get myself motivated to write it, although I'm still excited about the novel about her daughter. I don't force writing. In my experience, forced work is generally not salvageable. But I usually have 8-10 projects going at any one time, so I can always move to a different one when I run dry on the first.

    Then, when my brain's worked through whatever was stopping it, I can pick it up and run with it.

    On the other hand, I'm weird.

  2. Many of my stories have a deeper meaning, and I often know what it is while writing. Sometimes, though, I write things just for fun, light whimsical stuff. And sometimes, long after I've finished a piece, somebody will say something that makes me realize that there was something in a story that I didn't put in on purpose but totally works.

  3. I've never been published or owt, so my opinion may be worthless, but I would say meaning is very often in the eye of the reader. You should be wary of overstating any message or lesson which you feel you are imparting through the prose, as you don't want to end up sermonising.

    I find it is often better to raise questions rather than give answers. Let the reader find their own meaning. If your story is more character-driven, as it sounds, then maybe you can allow the character's actions and motivations to raise said questions? Are the characters "right" in their actions? Are we always going to support them? Do we fully empathise with them, or are we conflicted?

    Ultimately though, I'd say write your story and you'll probably find meanings, themes, messages and questions will present themselves as you go along.

  4. Usually it's the idea that comes first... and for days, weeks, months, even years, I wonder why I'm writing it, what it is I'm working through by putting all this down. And then it hits me, why the story wakes me up in the middle of the night, why it pulls me to the computer, what I'm trying to tell myself. It's that subconscious for me, and I want it to be for my readers, too. I want them to feel it in the innermost fiber of their being before they understand it or think it.

  5. Thx for the time and effort...

    it helps a great deal.