The World of Marketing: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

As we have asserted, a story makes its way from a writer’s heart (whatever that is, imagination, perception, the unconscious, and so forth) through a shaping process that occurs in the writer’s mind, onto a page or screen, then off to a publisher, to be displayed in some way in front of an audience of readers’ minds, which it uses as bridges to reach readers’ hearts.

That’s the ideal sequence, anyway. Even a glance at it shows various places where things can go wrong, and often do.

1. Heart to Mind

Who knows how to quantify this one? How many stories are swimming around deep in the imagination which never see the light of day? Probably an infinite number. So the very first place a story can founder is in the sea of the imagination, before it even reaches any kind of conscious shaping process. If it makes it into the writer’s mind in some kind of cohesive form, it has barely begun its hazardous journey.

2. Mind

Ideas, images, characters, scenes and everything else that form the substance of a story can leap fully-formed, half-formed or barely formed at all into the workshop of the writer’s mind. A great deal of what happens here is simply an effort to record. Drafts and drafts of material are scribbled down by hundreds of thousands of people all over the world as they attempt to ‘capture’ stories. But writing a story — at least, writing a good story — isn’t just a matter of recording what ‘pops up’. Unless you are very fortunate as a writer, the material has to be shaped. Michelangelo didn’t find a bock of marble that looked like the Biblical hero David — he took a block of unshaped stone and saw in it the form of David. Using all his craftsmanship, Michelangelo gently, step-by-painstaking-step, carved out of the marble a work of art.

Every good story, every tale that lasts, every piece of fiction that stands the test of time, had to be crafted into existence. Even Coleridge’s poem 'Kubla Khan', which legend has it came to the poet fully fo