There’s the visual of an abandoned building and then there’s the atmosphere of the place. It’s like trying to tell the absolute truth about something when viewing it with your eyes, then through the lens of a microscope and then through the lens of a telescope.
Three totally different truths.
Or put another way, a man at an ATM gets robbed. Whose story do I tell? The guy at the ATM, the robber, or the cop that comes to take the victim’s statement?
Three totally different stories.
Once I pick one you’d think that the main character would hold the story together, like skin holding all of the bones, blood and organs in place, but you’d be forgetting that without the atmosphere applying the necessary pounds per square inch to the skin, the body would simply burst apart at the seems. (I like seems better than seams in this context)
So I pick a character and seamingly (yes, again) abandon the other two.
Abandoned places can fill you with dread or wonder, fear or sadness. Wondering how they used to be, how they ended up the way they are and what’s eventually to become of them. Ghosts, both real and imagined, inhabiting every corner, dark or otherwise.
So the guy at the ATM and the robber and the cop and the guy at the ATM’s wife and the robber’s son and the cop’s boss and the guy at the ATM’s wife’s nephew and the robber’s son’s best friend and the cop’s boss’s informant all have stories that are bursting to be told, and I’m supposed to decide which are worth telling and which to abandon and then you’re supposed to decide which are worth reading and which to abandon.
There’s the visual of the abandoned character and then there’s the atmosphere in which that individual inhabits. The circumstances holding them together. It’s like trying to tell the absolute truth about someone when viewing them through the lens of past, present or future.
Three totally different truths to tell… but no world to tell it in.
A story that could have been bursting at the seems, filled with dread or wonder, fear or sadness. Maybe even a little joy sprinkled in now and then. There will almost certainly be goosebumps.
Makes me want to try to tell them all.
And you… how can you just walk away from them?