The CuriousPages Sketchbook

Writing: The Armchair Ballet Dancer


The inspiration behind this story happened one morning after Rhyan had woken. I asked him how his sleep had been and if he’d had any dreams. “Yes,” he said, “I dreamt I was a ballet dancer.”

On first reading this story back, the morning after completing it, I felt that is was somewhat lightweight, that it did not seem as powerful as my usual works. I felt that perhaps this was because the core of the story (Benjamin’s vengeful campaign against humanity) was mainly implied, and was not portrayed in detail. In this story, a lot of the content is implied in the dialogue, to a much higher degree than I had done before.
Also, in my mind, I had imagined the relationship between Melanie and Benjamin in a lot more detail, the conflict between them. But I did not portray any of this in the story, but merely implied it with a few lines of dialogue. I will put the story aside for a few weeks, then take another look at it and see what I think then.

3 August 2010


I’ve just finished proof reading and editing the story. In contrast to my above impressions, I think it’s a beautiful story; I love the simplicity of its structure.
After finishing reading it, it occurred to me that some readers might complain that the story is not yet finished; that the outcome of the relationship is not reported. Apparently, Benjamin has ended the relationship, but it’s true that the two might go on to meet in the coming days, and that there is a journey within both of them, concerning them both coming to terms with his disability, and him with the fact that the can still have a fulfilling relationship, even though he can not walk. But this is a separate story. It was not within my original conception. The story, as I have told it, says all that I wanted to say. It’s true that there is much more that could be told about these characters, and how things develop, but then that is always going to be the case with any good story, since that is always the case with real life, and any good story should end with all the possibilities that there are in real life. So, I will have no problem resisting the temptation to write on in this story, and take the story further. I leave that for each reader to do in their own mind.

Also, I think by stopping where I did, this then focuses the reader’s mind on the issues that I intended the story to be about. The reader, at the end, will stop and think back over the issues. It is never my intention to do the thinking for the reader.

10 August 1020


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