I haven't written a poem for a pretty long time. I now write stories. Stories are long, or can be, I prefer them to come and go in a flash. I don't like long, rambling stories, of hesitation prolonged, or dilatory. I like them short and crisp. That way they are more like myths. I don't like those dangerous incantations and prolonging. I don't like too much description. Nor event after event, episode after episode.
I like a bit of freewheeling, that's all. I am not to much for plot, story, construction, or de-construction.
We are not building a house. We are writing a story. Basically we are creating fables, and exploring a myth, which should be largely unreal, not really real. I get gooseberries, when there is murder, riots and mayhem. I like vague locales, something happening anywhere, not the time and place mentioned with a lugubrious specificity. I don't like too many characters. They spoil the show. I don't mind humour but it has to be done cleverly, almost slyly. There should not be too many facts. That looks like borrowing, but facts must be created in the story. That is fiction, that is a story.
Fiction is the world of the myth maker, the liar and the fabulous. In that sense I agree with William Golding, and I can see what he does in his novels. He creates the larger allegorical world of right and wrong, good and evil, all in a tangle and not in clear cut categories. That is what I would love to do by writing stories, creating a mysterious world in a flash, it can be open ended, it may not be so.
These are not theories that I am postulating but things which I am experimenting with. A story should be short and concise, otherwise one loses interest, can it be written in even 700 words? You must be thinking, I am mad. But a story is mad, it is divorced from realities, that is why it is mad, unreal and a pack of lies. A story is also close to a poem. It must always suggest and keep you guessing rather than making bald and ribald statements. It can have only one or two characters and these can remain flat, as flat as ever. Thank you, E.M. Forster. It takes plenitude of guts to write a story. After all it is a story, make belief, fantasy and as I told you earlier a pack of lies. So don't believe it, but read it.
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Ananya S Guha
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