And you’re back. Of course you are. How long has it been since you were last here to drop off those parchment paper love poems you tediously burned around the edges? Three hours? Four? I can see the blisters on your thumb from holding the lighter for Christ’s sake. Well you know what? I’m glad you’re back.
Let’s be honest, I can see why you’re here. After all, I’m the Best Story Idea You’ve Ever Had.
It doesn’t matter if you’re at work or driving to the grocery store, you can always spare a couple minutes to see me—to revisit the curves of my plot line. Anything is better than listening to the sway bar clattering in your 1999 Dodge Neon. I mean seriously, my character arc is downright voluptuous. My dark undertones of self-deception will need to rent storage space for the awards they’ll win.
I am untouchable right now. I’m the Best Story Idea You’ve Ever Had. Exposing the leading character—who probably should be a twist on the Byronic Hero—through intertwined second person narrative and the inner monologue of a local news reporter? That’s just smart. In fact, it’s genius.
We’re going to blow the lid off the story-writing game. We’re going to do for fiction what late 1980s Berlin did for Techno. What’s more, we’re going to do it with the same nose-to-the-sky air of dispassion, like we’re not even trying. When readers finish the last page, their laps a wasteland of tear-soaked Kleenex, they’ll thoughtfully enfold your story in their arms and gaze out their window, out into the world, and be all enlightened and shit.
So, no matter what other story you’re writing in the real world of criticism and barbs and rust, it doesn’t really matter. You don’t have to feel the sting when the writing group suggests you “overthought” your short story, or when your friends politely ask you to stop sending them drafts. Your ego is safe tucked away with me. I’m the ace up your sleeve. I’m the .44 you brought to the knife fight.
Let’s just set some boundaries though, before we send this rocket to the moon. When I said I was untouchable, I meant that. As in, hands off. Why? Because you need me. More specifically, you need me looking like this.
Right now, I look as good as the ladies of the Adult Entertainment Expo when you first walk in the door. Just don’t get too close or you’ll be face-to-face with my details. And the details, my friend, are neither pretty nor real. Think about them too much and you’ll start to feel icky and alone.
We both know that if you put me on paper weird shit is going to happen. You’ll sit down at the computer and realize you need a setting in a bad way. Like a two-pack-a-day sort of way. All of a sudden my narrative voice will become that of a Mexican cartel Jefe. You don’t know anything about Mexico. You get indigestion from guacamole.
What do you know about the main character’s love interest, really? Don’t even try to fill in those blanks. She will turn into a character played by Kristen Stewart faster than you can say “I shouldn’t have eaten all that guacamole.”
So let’s keep this straight. I stay like I am and you’re free to visit whenever you need a taste.
When your co-worker who takes off at four and hits on all the ladies gets the promotion, you won’t have to think about it. Just think about how popular and well respected you’ll be when you write me.
When you get an ex’s wedding invitation in the mail, I’m there for you like Mommy slinging hot cocoa on a Sunday in December.
I’m the Best Story Idea You’ve Ever Had, so kick back and relax Tiger. We’re going to be just fine.