Though I can’t remember the details of it anymore, I woke up this morning with the trails of a dream that could have made a good story. I’m a little disappointed that everything between waking up and sitting in front of my computer to write this blog has eradicated most of the detail, but I know I at least got a blog post out of it because I was thinking about the nature of the story that was weaving itself together. It’s a common motif you see in a lot of fiction, as well as one you usually see editors cringe away from. And this, my friends, is the tale of the troubled relationship.
I know I’ve written a few Troubled Relationship stories, especially in my early college years and recently, but I was even known to scribble a few Trouble Relationship scenarios when I was in the right mood in a perfectly content relationship.. It can be incredibly therapeutic, and I think the draw to write about domestic unhappiness is an attempt to try to understand a situation and come to terms with the fact that there’s a whole side of it that you’re not in control of. By writing about it, it helps us feel we have some sort of control. We can’t understand the other person involved, so we write in an attempt to gain some better comprehension in general.
As I’ve said, I’d written many of them, but they usually don’t see the light of day. I find them to be too emotional and vague; only one story in Bowlful of Bunnies so far involves this domestic unbliss, and I’m not even sure if it will stay. In general, reading them, I feel the same way about others’ works that I do myself: too emotional, too simplistic on the range of human emotion, and generally interchangeable. But some of them are pretty good, of course, fantastic, even, but the stigma against this sort of fiction is so great I’ve actually come across a few journals that explicitly mention that they don’t want to see this kind of fiction. That has stuck with me for a long time, that their coffers would be so stuffed with the sort of tripe relationship drama fiction that they’d have to outright ask for it not to be sent.
What are your thoughts on this sort of fiction, the tale of the displeased lovers, the going nowhere relationship, the ennui of marriage? Knowing that I write a lot of it to help get a grips on my own messy relationships, to live almost vicariously through characters, I’m curious to see what the general consensus might be. Should such ramblings be kept to the healing power of private writing, or is there some merit in a well-written story of this nature, so that some of them could really benefit to being polished and brought into the light of day?
Oh, and let me also not forget to thank my newest subscriber for hopping aboard! Welcome to the babbling The Better Man Project! I look forward to following you, too. Though I don’t expect to become a better man myself, I can definitely approve of the men who do!