I have been making strong, steady progress on my longer piece of fiction. It has taken me quite some time to get to this point, a lot of frustration and self-doubt, but the story is finally coming together.
The overall theme of the story is perspectives, how two people can see the same scene or talk to the same people yet experience them in very different and contradictory ways. I originally got the idea from music – in my younger days, I always wondered why some people did not like the music I did. Did they not hear what I heard? I finally came to the conclusion that no, they did not. The reasons for this are many, but I think it stems from how a person actually listens to music (e.g., as background, as his/her primary focus, etc.), what they want to experience from music, and their preconceived notions of what music should or should not do.
I took this to an extreme in the story and it has been a very rewarding exercise.
Some stories seem to be obvious, all the twists and turns, but this one was tricky. I am on my third version so far, only really keeping the first three chapters of the original. This story seemed to be hidden under some deep bedrock and I wonder if I really uncovered it at all. It is not a very long story – I estimate that it will be between 45-50,000 words when it’s finally done – but it is such an odd story that I had trouble getting my head around it. But I think I have it figured it out (famous last words). Now the challenge is to make it interesting (and rewarding) to read. That is something I am working on still.