This Is a Story
by Jay Lake
This is the beginning. The author begins here with a character in a setting with a problem. Due to an unfortunate failure of imagination, the author is the character, the manuscript is the setting and the lack of story is the problem.
He tries for some rising action, but fails. This cycle could go on a while, the author realizes, so he considers pushing some symbolism into the piece. "Would monkeys wearing my mother's underwear be too transparent to my readers?" He racks his brain for college-era memories of Eurythmics videos. A cow could walk through the scene.
A cow walks through the scene.
Oops, no setting. White rooms are bad. Even real white rooms. The author briefly wonders if he could set a story in a chip fab, where everything is white except for people's eyes. Kind of like Willie Wonka, but different. Literary oompa loompas! There's the answer.
Oompa loompa, says the cow.
This is the middle. It feels very muddled. Aren't stories supposed to have a muddle in the middle, the author wonders? Or is that novels? Perhaps if he spent more time reading other writers' LiveJournals he'd know more about process.
Stuff happens here. The cow is killed by bright orange midgets wearing curiously shaped white hats.
Now the end. The end should be implicit in the beginning. The author read that somewhere. On a fortune cookie?
"The end should be implicit in the beginning. In bed."
Definitely fortune cookie wisdom. He's pretty sure the workshop will hate this story. He's pretty sure his boyfriend will hate this story. He can't show it to his mom, because of the monkeys in her underwear thing.
This is the end: And then the sun went nova.
Oops, have to go back and foreshadow that.
© 2008, Joseph E. Lake Jr.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.