A story isn’t a steel railroad track transporting the reader from Chapter One to The End, but an ocean with currents in constant movement below the surface. Readers sail on words that drift according to the force of the currents, not the lapping surface tension.
So do we writers adjust the sails of our ships to write the story of the essential journey lodged in the bowels of our hearts, the one hidden below the waves. The rudder thrusts through the sea of scenes, the keel maintains an upright status of the plot, the sun glints off the crests of conflicts, the words flow over and under the characters. Sometimes the boats capsize and sometimes they save us from the storm.
I am not a sailor but I’ve learned to command the ocean.
Still I know metaphors can only take you so far. There must be a story to the story or you drown in a sea of words.
Just a thought 54
Painting: Through Sea and Air, 1910, by Charles Napier Henry courtesy Wikimedia Commons