The Pawn's Conclusion

Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, paranormal vampire romance or quiet literary short stories, whether you are a banker or a bartender, an actor or an architect, eventually you will tell your story. You have already told it, though the ending has since changed, and with it so too the beginning. No matter, it is an interesting story, and you do not mind that it keeps changing, as it means that you get to keep telling it. Sometimes, however, you do not like this story, though you tell it anyway. You tell it even though the characters – particularly the protagonist – seem to be pawns in a vast and unfriendly and meaningless game. The pawns’ only goal is to stay alive for as long as possible while the meaningless game plays itself into oblivion. Telling this story feels like a chore, and there are days you wonder why you bother telling it at all.

And yet there you are telling it. Though all evidence points to the contrary, secretly you believe that the pawn plays a critical role in this mysterious game. Though all evidence points to the contrary, you feel as if without him the game could not be played. This is infuriatingly compelling because sometimes when you try to tell the story of the pawn’s irreplaceable role in this game you sound disingenuous, naïve, or full of bravado. This is so disappointing you nearly stop telling your story, except there is that feeling about the pawn yet again.

It wouldn’t be possible, would it, that your character isn’t a pawn at all, but a king? You have heard that there is only one such piece on the board, and wouldn’t you have been told if you were that piece? You can see no reason to keep such a secret, except that the longer you tell this story, and the more honestly you tell it, and the more humbly you tell it, you can come to no conclusion other than that the game has always been played for you.


Write Within Yourself: An Author's Companion.

"A book to keep nearby whenever your writer's spirit needs feeding." Deb Caletti.

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WritingBill KenowerComment