A big question surrounded by smaller questions

Ask a big question, then delay answering it – that is the structure of most stories. Smaller questions also get asked and answered along the way, but the big question is unresolved until the end.

Stories are told in this way because humans are typically more interested in what they don’t know, than what they do know. This is why I love stories: they make me wait.

So, why then do I wrestle with this structure in my own story? Is it because I don’t have a sense of how long my story is? There is no book to weigh in my hand, no film running time to measure.

Is it because I am required to believe what I cannot see – that my story has a coherent structure, a reasonable timeline, that there will be a satisfying resolution?

Of course, the truth is simpler than this. My big question will definitely be answered. I can relax in the knowledge that I will find out.

For today, that’s all I need to know.


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