January 20, 2014

The Soul of the Story

Dear M,

What is the soul of a story, the factor on which a story revolves, the thing that makes the story human? (Assuming we are talking about stories involving humans or living things that think and behave like humans)

Our unpredictability. We decide to go to office, and half-way through, we remember how tiresome the day is going to be, how our boss is going to hammer us out of existence, how our colleagues are going to make us feel inferior, how our work is going to extract the last ounce of happiness from us - and then we take the next U-turn on the highway, and head towards the nearest mall and watch a couple of movies and eat to our heart's content and even play a bit in the play arena with the wide-eyed kids there. When we didn't turn up at the office, our boss gets irritated (and kind of relieved that he doesn't have to make a choice any more) and decides to award the big project to the next eligible (and available) candidate. So a small detour in our routine brought in a sparkle to a few lives.

That's it with writing stories - if you go in a pre-determined route, it may sound very robotic. That's not how people behave. We have unpredictability in a good measure - and it is triggered by jealousy, laziness, tiredness, anger, disappointment, excitement and a whole host of emotions. Most of the time we are unthinking when we act, and then we scramble to set things right.

That's what makes our story endearing. He prepared well, took the test, and won. -- No fun at all.


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1 comment :

  1. Yes, emotions as a soul of the story can choke the readers, make change in their lives..