Writer’s Block and “Felix”

conflictAs I continue to struggle with writer’s block, I ask myself, why do I want to write “Felix”? Maybe that will get me restarted.

On one level  a story can be just a story; an exercise in entertainment. But to write a story a writer needs motivation. What is my motivation? In general I see any creative activity as a way for the creator to express their personal philosophy. When I look at the stories and movies I’ve done, they all reflect ideas or emotions that were important to me. That is even true of projects where I didn’t consciously set out to make a point.

What about “Felix”?

My initial inspiration for “Felix” was a desire to rewrite one of H. P. Lovecraft’s short stories. At the time I started, I didn’t give any thought to what I wanted to say in the story. I believe that if I want to finish this story and make it worth reading, then I need to clarify in my mind what I want the story about.

In many of Lovecraft’s stories he tries to evoke a sense that people are just a small and insignificant part of the Universe. His protagonists are horrified by that revelation. It is not that the other beings are evil, but that they simply don’t care about humanity.

At the end of “Felix” I have a similar revelation. As I said in an earlier blog post, it is very difficult to hide the climax to a story like this. Since there can be no surprise ending to the story, my focus needs to be on how my protagonists react to the revelation. In the current version of the story I have the two protagonists react in different ways.

The story up until the climax needs to build up the reader’s empathy for the protagonists. I need to develop the characters to the point where, while their reactions may be unexpected, the reader can understand why the characters react the way they do.

What I want the reader to think about while they read is how the characters might react to the revelation. Then, after they have read the story, I want them to go on to speculate how they would react in their place. I do want to provoke an emotional response, but I don’t believe I would call it fear.

I would like reader to find what I seek; an acceptance of the Universe as it is. So often we get caught up in the travails and frustrations of our day to day existence. I believe that it is easier to find happiness and enjoy life if we see our troubles as not that important in the whole scheme of things.

This seems like a mighty ambitious goal for a little story like mine. I find it rather intimidating to think of it in those terms, which doesn’t help much with my writer’s block. On the other hand, just because I might not succeed is no reason not to try. A failed attempt may still be worth the effort.

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