Here we are at Week 297.
There were some comments between us this week that made me think on meaning of story.
We are all three people.
We are who we think we are, who others perceive us to be and who we actually are.
All of them are very debatable and unless you are comfortable with one, the other two will fuck you right up.
I think it’s the same with a story.
It’s either, how the writer wants it to be, how the reader perceives it or how it actually is.
How it actually is? Who decides on that? Maybe majority opinion or depending on the writer’s arrogance or insecurity, they may choose the best explanation and champion that.
I learnt a long while ago never to dictate meaning. And I’m confident enough to let any readers have a free run at what they take out of my work. Well I say confident – I probably mean I’m willing to take any review as positive contact. It is all relative. What one guy thinks is a kick in the bollocks is another guys ‘Oh God yes!!’
We really need to consider writing as some form of masochism!
If someone states that your story is the worst thing they’ve ever read, just think how much of an achievement that is. Best and worst are memorable – Middle ground isn’t.
I think where it started with me was with a pervy old art teacher. He asked us to draw a scene from Burns. I drew what I thought was a rear view of a lady on a pew with a fancy hat and a beastie crawling in her hair. The minister was in the pulpit.
I thought it was a brilliant depiction of ‘To A Louse’. The teacher stated that it was very good and my idea of Auld Hornie reciting a sermon was inspiring but I needed to re-visit the poem as there was much more going on in the scene. (I found it ironic that he used that phrase for the devil!)
It took a few minutes for me to realise that he thought I was drawing a scene from ‘Tam O’ Shanter’ and my drawing of the minister was mistaken for Satan.
I thanked him and took the praise. I didn’t want to argue and be belted. At least I was male and didn’t need to do a hand stand in a cupboard…Pervy fuck!
What I’m getting at is, if a story comes across with some deep dark meaningful meaning and the writer never in a million years intended that, does it mean that the work has less merit?
Beauty in the eye of the beholder is the same way of thinking as meaningful genius mistaken by the reader.
That’s why you should never dictate meaning if a reader is telling you what they got out of your story. Just be happy with the audience input. It has taken your story into other considerations.
I also came across an artist who showed me his work and asked me to name one of his pictures. His work was brilliant. I didn’t know that clocks and time were a sort of go-to for artists, I suppose in the same way that writers write cliché! Anyhow I had a look and came up with a few titles on what his work meant to me and he started arguing. He got quite angry that I didn’t see what he did. He was pissed off that I didn’t get the meaning that he was putting across. He actually knew what he wanted to call his work but wanted some sort of validation from a numptey who didn’t know his Rembrandt from his rectum.
I realised then it was about confidence and a bit of ego stroking. I would have told him this but he was known for fits of furious rage and he was a very large guy so I then nodded added a few words to his idea and that calmed him. I then said that I preferred to remove the added words and therefore came up with what he said in the first place. He was pleased.
People love to analyse and come up with meaning. The weird thing is they want to be in tune with whoever did what they are analysing. That’s why art is discussed until your arse falls off, especially some of that loony tunes modern stuff.
Songs are also a brilliant example. ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘Hotel California’ and ‘American Pie’ spring to mind.
Don McLean did have the best answer ever to the question:
‘What does American Pie’ mean
‘It means I don’t need to work again!’
I have a tendency to oversimplify and I would say regarding any art form – It is what it is to you, whether you are admirer, criticiser or creator.
Okay onto this weeks stories.
We had two old friends, a writer who is adding to his back catalogue very quickly, a new person to the site and me.
Our topics this week include; a fetish, gin, a lizard, aid and a beastie.
As always out initial comments follow.
The great story teller that is Dave Henson was first up.
‘Letti The Yetti was story number twenty one.
‘There is much to consider – Very interesting.’
‘No matter what the subject matter, Dave allows his imagination to run free.’
‘It will be interesting to see what the readers focus on.’
I was next up on Tuesday.
I had a bit of fun with ‘Jim’s Aunts‘
My usual heart-felt thanks to Diane and all who have a look at my nonsense.
There is no introduction needed for the amazing Leila Allison whose continual involvement with the site is so much appreciated.
It is even better when we have a story to publish.
‘I hope that Leila doesn’t let her cats see this, she’ll be assassinated!’
‘Leila can break every rule in the book and only cause even more interest!’
‘A different type of talking animals miles away from Skippy or Rin Tin Tin.
Our new writer was Jess McColl.
We welcome her, hope she has fun on the site and we want to see more of her work.
‘Metamorphosis‘ was published on Thursday.
‘It was maybe a bit strange but I sympathised with the narrator.
‘I actually found this a bit sad.’
‘She felt guilt, she knew that she’d be judged but she was so broken down she could only try to make things work in some way.’
And we finished off with the fearless Alex Sinclair.
‘The Child Of Smoke‘ was our last story of the week.
‘A dark story that is brave enough to dip more than its toe into reality.’
‘The ending was haunting.’
‘That was some bunch of characters!’
Usual reminders guys – please keep commenting.
And have a go at The Re-Run, check out last weeks posting and do the same sort of thing only with a different story.
Just to finish off I wanted to ask you if you can add to these.
I have an absolute hatred for certain phrases.
One has really came to the forefront lately. (I am ignoring those phrases regarding that worldly thing that we have avoided on this site since March – There are fucking hundreds there!)
So I’ve decided to list a dozen that have pissed me off due to them being patronising, fawning, labelling, oppressing, false and devaluing.
1. The queen mother was wonderful for her age.
(My old gran would have lived longer if she was looked after and had access to the medical care that thing had.)
2. …As a royalist.
(Bowing and curtseying is accepting an idea that you are complacent and less worthy – A utopia for a paedophiles society.)
3. Would someone please think of the children.
(Think what? Maybe what the fuck they identify as?)
4. A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met.
(Or a killer you’ve created by hearing you say that and then stabbing you in the liver.)
6. Children are just little people.
(People have sex, do drugs, drink alcohol and vote. If your child is doing any of these – Social Services may want a word.)
7. …As a young person…
(What the fuck has an age got to do with an opinion – Just own it!)
8. God bless the queen
(If anyone needs blessing it isn’t that billionaire.)
9. …As a christian
(Keep your fucking values to yourself?)
10. …As a young person and a christian
(You’re looking for an excuse for no-one wanting to have sex with you.)
11. …Years young.
(Do you not know what a contradiction is? It’s a bit like you saying ‘Unbelievably, I’m ninety’.)
Every one of them gets right on my nipple ends but not as much as the now relentless:
11. …For the sake of mental health.
(Overkill, dramatising, exaggeration and not accepting levels of severity only devalues.)
Never say these but bite those that do!!
yes – Years young – that really really irritates me. You don’t need to talk about age as much as people do. You are what you are – kind, heathly, rotten, sick, thoughtful, mean whatever and the numbers of years that have passed since you arrived on the planet are meaningless. dd
Images: Google Images