Q: Have you ever consciously written a ‘message’ story? Was it easier or harder than usual?
A: One of my favorite aspects of writing is the serendipity of a story developing a message or deeper meaning while in the process of writing. Even when started from a blank page, a story will develop its own ideas. Now, when you flip it, choose the message before the story, it can be a very difficult task to get right. I’ve had to rewrite a story from the ground up three or four times when going in with a prescribed message. Sometimes the telling, no matter how good, doesn’t lend itself to the desired ideal. When finally you do chart the trail that leads to the correct message, delivered in just the right way, that is a magic all its own. It’s calling order out of chaos and it’s beautiful.
Ryan Priest’s story “A Universe All to Himself”
in Metaphorosis Friday, 16 April 2021.
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