Imagine the brutal gray clouds and black specs of indeterminable debris that make up the body of a hurricane, all circling around a calm and blue skied center: the eye of the storm. These elements of the storm define the eye by outlining it. The eye is the negative space; the part of the storm that is not storm.
The elements of story do the same, circling around a common theme yet never making direct contact. Like a powerful storm, a powerful story enforces and reinforces itself by moving around this central point in conjunction with all of the other elements. Character, plot, sub-plot–everything must echo this central theme, working through it, playing with it. Eroding it and distilling it into simple human truth.
The “I” of the Story?
Examining my own stories, the eye is often a clear reflection of my life at the time of writing. Who I am, what I want, what I’m dealing with. It’s interesting how this subconsciously worms its way into our work. A form of therapy quite related to the analysis of dreams.
Working/production/joke title “Muromai and Kielle Forever” is about a boy and girl, lost far from home, fantasizing about getting back one day, not truly knowing what home really is. They cross the country only to find that it isn’t so much a place but a carefully cultivated feeling. This is something I’ve been dealing with for about two years now, having moved from family and friends in California to Indiana with my partner as she ventured into graduate school. I only just made the connection this morning waking from a dream.
What stories are you telling, and what sits at the eye? Is it you?