Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mysteries of Creation

Don't misunderstand: I claim no godlike skill. But I must insist the creation of a plot is a thing of wonder, an inexplicable thing. If I am so amazed at my own meager ability to make a story where there was none before, imagine the electrification felt by a genius at work. No wonder so many of them drink.

This isn't a joke. I am amazed every time I can come up with a story. A topic comes to mind, a setting, a main character, a basic conflict. That, in and of itself, is heartening. But what really astounds me is how, every time I sit down with this story, more details come to me. Plato believed that there was no real learning or experience; it was all recognition from past lives. I have to admit, curmudgeonly skeptic that I am, that I feel like I am remembering stories when I write them. As each layer of detail gets added on, I have the sensation that my memory has simply become clearer.

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