It is overcast with intermittent showers occurring as I write this post at the beginning of September. It isn’t one of those days that inspire one to drop all of one’s clothing and race outside to bask in nature. Shadows from the sun are replaced with a duller darkness where no shadows are visible. The shadow has lost its distinct separateness and becomes a pervasive condition. I know that high above, once one gets through the thick and threatening clouds, there is sunshine. It’s an intellectual knowledge that comes with life experience.
So what has this bit of descriptive truth about my outer world morning have to do with writing? It has everything to do with telling a story. Obviously, it is based on experience, and experience that is
There is nothing wrong with a story that is all sunshine and roses. We all need these “feel good” stories which make for pleasant reading, especially when all we want to do is to step outside of normal life into a world where there are no shadows that lurk like some sinister threat in the background. We like these stories as they are so different from our own lives which are plagued with changeable weather. One minute life is good, and the next minute we are in some version of hell or the underworld.
Introducing the “shadow” into a story is an invitation for the reader to enter into a complex world that mirrors some aspect of their own lives. I write realistic stories that feel as though the writer is telling us the truth, a true story. The shadow is present though not overbearing. There is
So where does this fit into naturist fiction? Well, simple answer is,
A healthy dose of the shadow keeps us honest as writers and as humans.