Good Stories, Lonely Stories


Recently, I came across this short article I wrote some time ago, musing on writing and the loneliness. As I re-read this piece, I thought about how in many ways there is a distinct type of loneliness that can surround our writing and often infuse our writing, particularly when we are working character struggles. I made a few edits and send this refreshed focus on the good, lonely writing back out.

Often we think of good story scenarios as being ones that have multiple characters and clear, obvious and perhaps predictable happenings. We long for happy endings even in the mire of worry and worrisome scenes.

Good stories can sometimes be lonely stories as well. What I mean by lonely is that the story can be focused mostly on a singular character. The cast of characters are not there, filling out a storyline or bringing the layers to the tale. Sometimes the story is a singular one. A story that is about one, single character–one single person’s reactions and responses to the world that is happening to them.

Often a singular story turns outs to be a poem. Or poem-like.

No one wants to be trapped inside one character’s mind for too long. It becomes too insular. And still there are singular stories. The stories of what happened to me when I crossed this milestone. Or the story of when the world came crashing in on a singular character.

There will be lonely scenes when expressing these moments. Allow that loneliness. You may want to bring an outside character in to bring another insight or perspective. As in real life, we are so often left to figure it out for ourselves. This is lonely business.

There are still colors, light and rare shadows in loneliness.

Loneliness doesn’t have to be drab business.

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