Sunday, August 29, 2010


What makes a story interesting?

You ask because of a recent brush with boredom, which caused you to define your awareness of the way the major feeling associated with that unfortunate state is the sense of being alarmingly disinterested while at the same time being trapped within a situation from which there is no immediate retreat.

At such times when you were finally freed of a bout of boredom, it seemed to you that everything about you, the merest hint of a flower or tree or dog or cloud carried sensual transportation to a happier state.

Disinterest and trapped are both conditions wanting some greater specificity as a means of conveying the helplessness and of unseen walls moving in on your living and breathing space.  Disinterest conveys a state where no persons or creatures or matter are close enough to hand for which to display some concern or connection.  Disinterest, a cousin once removed from boredom, is the awareness of being surrounded by facts, random information, persons, materials, utensils, and art of little or no consequence for you.  You utterly lack the conditions necessary to care about any of them.  Trapped means there is no apparent exit, no escape hatch through which you may flee, heaving sighs of relief, taking in gulps of celebratory air.  You are stuck where you are and in the situation you are in for a period of time that by its very nature will seem longer in the experience of it as it weighs in upon you that its actual duration.  Thus boredom begins to approximate being without agreeable sense stimuli for a period in which time is ductile, capable of being drawn out to its extreme limits.

So you have ventured toward definition of interest via the negative route by which you defined what it lacks.  Radiant stimuli, landing on your thirsty receptors, provide the beginnings of interest.  All persons, places, and things emit vibrations; those with whom you feel in some form of connection evoke a response in you of recognition, familiarity, intrigue, and perhaps even a touch of mystery.  These qualities urge you forth into that delightful state of being interested, of caring, of in ways you scarcely understand urge you to open your receptors further, taking in the powers about you to the point where you respond by sending out responses of your own, which have their effect or not on the persons, places, and things of interest to you.

Interest may be a wide avenue or a back alley.  It may be mutual or of no consequence, adding to the two qualities that so constantly reside in story--suspense and curiosity.  Take any two persons performing the same activity, say reading a book.  One interests you to the point where you begin creating a pearl in your imagination.  The other does not send forth body language or vibrations or aura or any kind of psychic radar that cause you to register that person's engaging details.

A day without interest of any sort is intolerable, an hour without it is boredom, the exit from which is the ingenuity of your imagination.

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