A Vital Point To Consider If You're Trying To Get Published: Part 13
We’re attempting to establish what you are trying to say through your fiction.
The purpose of this is to enhance and expand your work so that it is more likely to get published and reach a wider base of readers, and also so that it will appeal to those readers in more profound ways. Ultimately, the purpose is to make your work so masterful that it provides you with satisfaction on both spiritual and commercial levels.
But we have discovered that it’s almost impossible to find out what you are trying to say because the culture has probably blinded you. The ‘metaphoric vision’ which would have empowered you to see literal and figurative expressions as a unified whole has been taken away or split up into ‘literal’ and ‘figurative’ as separate categories.
Can you get your meta-vision back?
We assume, in this, that there is something deeper in your story than simply a sequence of ‘Then this happened, then this happened…’ linear events. Working on that assumption, try answering these questions:
1. Who is the central character at the beginning of the story?
2. What are they trying to do?
3. What is it about their character that prevents them from doing it?
4. What events in the story assist them in doing it?
5. What events hinder them, acting as obstacles?
6. Does your character succeed in his or her objective?
They sound like conventional questions, and asking them is partly why sometimes conventional approaches strike lucky and work. But really they are a trail of breadcrumbs leading back to the core of your ‘metaphorical thinking’, your unified vision of the story’s themes.
The way it really works is this:
i) You have a Theme (or themes). You might not know what it is, but it’s probably there. You also have something you want to say about the Theme.
ii) On some level in your creative imagination, that Theme takes on a personified form, becoming what the ordinary text books say is a ‘character’.
iii) This character — actually not a person at all, but even in the best literature merely a cipher or package of 'code' — has a function, which is to capture the reader's attention and move them through a series of actions towards the accomplishment of something. These form the thing that the textbooks call the ‘plot’, which is the outward appearance of the story.