- A love story – this includes hate as an extension or opposite form of love
- And a ‘fish out of water’ story – one where a person is put into an entirely alien situation and is unsure of how to proceed
At first glance, this appears a strange thing to say. Surely it cannot be that every piece of fiction can be labelled so broadly? There are intricacies to consider, character fluctuations, magnificent creatures and unknown worlds battling in never ending wars.
It is a theory you read, scoff at, and discard without consideration.
However, in the past week I have made the biggest step of my life so far. I have moved to a new city and undertaken a degree in that which I love the most: English with Creative Writing. I have had to deal with faulty door keys, broken boilers and cookers with no marked temperatures or functions. In short, I have had to grow up in an entirely different way than I have ever experienced.
So I began to wonder if this theory may have a point – for wouldn’t it be wonderful if at least something in this world could be so brilliantly simple?
I am the first to admit that we all have a tendency to over complicate matters to the nth degree, calculating and compensating for possibilities and actualities, fighting over figures and statistics to come to one measly conclusion. Why is it that when we look at a collection of books we assume that they are all completely separate from one another? As with all things in life, everything written is intertwined with something or someone else. A poem is written in response to a novel; a novel in response to a play; a play in response to real life. And what is it in Life, that everyone values above all else? What is it that writers and directors and singers strive to portray in their work to connect with the audience?
LOVE and LONELINESS.
When you strip down the contents of a library to its bare essentials, you will find pages of exactly that. From Shakespeare and his star crossed lovers; to J.K.Rowling and her orphan protagonist thrown into the ‘wizarding world’.
Stop trying to factor in metaphors and hyperbole. Stop analysing syntax and rhythm. Just absorb the core message at the heart of a text and listen to what it is trying to tell you.
And then maybe try this when all in your world is becoming too much. Strip away the leaking washing machine and the poorly cat. Throw down that magazine telling you that by eating this combination of nuts you may get cancer. Disregard that person who purposefully slammed into you when you walked past them. And just think.
What is your story today?