I might be misremembering things. But rightly (writely?) or not I recall in On Writing this great metaphor Stephen King gives which equates writing to archaeology. Writer-as-archaeologist, is the point. You don’t create the story, you uncover it. Like the story is already there and you don’t have to fuck with it too much–in fact if you do fuck with it too much, it’s ruined–but you do have to uncover it. Remove the surrounding dirt. Dig. You really gotta dig. But the point is you don’t create it, you find it, you excavate, and you uncover.
I like King’s metaphor because I’m fond of the notion that the story already exists. One could say it jives with my platonic (neoplatonic?) ontology or at my sympathies for such an ontology (always been a sucker for plato’s metaphysics and also right now if you’re thinking to yourself Christ, listen to yourself kirk, you sound like a complete twat: yes, I know, and also, suck my balls and hail Satan). But no–the Form of Story, the Form of This-Particular-Story, out there somewhere not necessarily in spacetime but out there, somehow supraspacetime, out there nonetheless–how majestic. How mesmerizing.
It turns the act of writing on its head, the metaphor. A change in ontology necessitates a change in perspective of that ontology. I am no longer the creator. The story was created before I arrived and it will be here long after I am gone. It is eternal (or in the archaeology metaphor, just very slowly decaying). So it’s like, humbling, or something. To view things this way. To adopt the ontology implicit in King’s metaphor. I should be so honored to have the opportunity to uncover the story.
This is all to say that for the past couple days I’ve been feeling the call of the story, its gravity and its pull. A feeling like I was walking along and came across a fossil protruding from the ground and now the image keeps coming back. I didn’t explore and I could’ve. The feeling that there might be something more there. A fantastic discovery for the world to see. I need to go back. I’m writing this so I remember to try to write that. You don’t have to understand.
Of course, I might be misremembering things.