Struggling with meaning
I wrote yesterday about why I believe storytelling shouldn’t be preaching. I’ve also written about how author’s values inform stories, usually not in the ways you think.
Sometimes stories come about because the author is trying to figure something out. We write the tale hoping to find that answer. I wrote a story set in my Trickster universe that was one of those. I’d had the bare bones of the conflict in my head for a long time, a kind of just-so story to answer a question about how one of the characters got into a particular vocation. But while I had an opening problem, I didn’t know how it ended, so it sat in my big list of story ideas on the hard disk for a couple of years.
Completely unrelated, I had been struggling for a long time to understand a particular zen koan. And it occurred to me, one day, that this character’s struggle might be something like the koan.
The next thing I knew, I was writing a story… And what came out was something called “The Luminous Pearl, or the Second Tail of Sora.”
Go give it a read, and tell me what you think.