What’s It About?

I think every writer reaches a point where he asks himself what his story is about. Sure, it’s about the characters, the plot and events, the conflict…but is there anything more? Or does it need to be about anything more? Surely, many readers don’t need their stories to be much more than the ride. Rowling and Patterson fans, Clancy and Fleming devotees, countless readers of chart-topping blockbusters just want an engaging story with characters they grow to love and identify with. They don’t need a deeper meaning or passages to dog-ear or highlight.

But doesn’t every author want their work to mean something? Deep down inside, don’t they want their novels to be remembered for more than the plot? Even while writing, aren’t we trying to say something more? About life, love, and the human condition? I’m not sure my novel is about any of that. It’s about family, I guess…about loss and friendship. About revenge and redemption and the infinite possibilities of the universe. I think. But what it’s really about is a boy that lost his parents who grows up to be a man that searches for his parents. Set against a backdrop of space travel and intrigue, with an android and a man who can see the future, and spaceships and bokguns and the Alendor and ancient artifacts…

Maybe I don’t need to have a deeper meaning. Maybe I don’t need this story to be more than what it is. Or maybe I haven’t figured out what it’s about just yet, and it’ll reveal itself to me in the due course of its creation.

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3 comments on “What’s It About?

  1. Gary says:

    I’m reading “if on a winter’s night a traveler” by Italo Calvino and enjoying it; these questions you’re talking about, he kind of addresses right in the actual text, in the narration, as the story unfolds. Pretty cool.

  2. i like a good novel with those features..suspense, family, love, wonder …and i always like to be fooled by the ending..While I’m not a fan of “space future’ novels, this may be the one that opens my eyes to a story set in a place that I’m not used to liking. I am looking forward to reading it Kev. xox Mom

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