I’m not just talking about books. I might be though. There are seemingly countless stories on the shelf of a library or bookstore or digital silo. Some are alone, they are the only tale from an author. Others form families, all sired by the same parent.
There are retellings. Boy meets girl, issues, conflicts. The issues will be resolved amicably or not, allowing a story to an end… enabling another to begin. There is the hero myth, the underdog called from obscurity to save the world, worlds, past or future. Each hero has a personal issue to overcome. Each step a variation on a theme.
There are ancient tales retold to new audiences. There are ancient tales with varying degrees of new twists and turns. The more twists the fresher the tale. New audiences require differences in order to relate, again with varying degrees.
We might have just one story. Or one story with many chapters. Or one story with different characters repeated time and time again like an alcoholic returning to a bar.
It might be a story that is too frightening to tell. A story from our past that hides in the shadows of memory. A story we keep hidden because to reveal it would be to acknowledge it, and give it power.
It might be a story that is hidden because we can’t find the words to use. Descriptions and paragraphs and characters elude us. They hide despite us searching with whatever skills and abilities we have at our disposal. They frustrate us as they remain untold, unformed. They skulk out of reach. We know they are there but we cannot form them.
I have stories. Some I want to tell. Some I don’t. Some I will tell. Some I can’t. Some may appear predictable. But appearances can be deceptive.
Never judge a book by its cover.
Never judge a story by its premise.
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