Human Writes: Mind your own business
On the main difference between owning a bar and owning a story | Non-Fiction | Fresh Soup
Imagine yourself opening a bar. I know, starting a business isn’t really your thing, especially one that involves food, drunks, and Health Department inspections, but stay with me for a minute. Close your eyes and picture your place: slightly dark, but in a good way. A pool table, an old jukebox in the corner that only plays Crosby, Stills & Nash. An oak bar with dark varnish, and shelves behind it lined with bottles of all shapes and sizes waiting for their big moment. In this dusky bar of yours, there is also a slightly creaky wooden staircase leading up to the restroom. The only problem is, there’s another door upstairs, to the storage room where you keep sacks of potatoes that you use for the greasy fries that your customers love to dip in the house sauce that you make from your grandmother’s secret recipe. The last thing you need is for some confused barfly to wander up to the second floor and not know which door is the restroom. So, as a public service, you decide to hang a sign on one of the doors. You have two options: you can write “Storage” on the storage room and have faith that even after downing half a bottle of cheap whisky, your patrons will be able to deduce that if that one is the storage room, the other one must be the restroom. Or, you can just hang a sign on the restroom door that says “Toilets” and hope that does the job.
If you really do own a bar, I would strongly recommend opting for the second choice, which will avoid the unpleasant prospect of a drunk customer (or just a very dumb one) pissing on your potatoes or losing his balance and falling down the creaky stairs. But if you’re a storyteller trying to get your readers to go on an adventure with you, you simply must choose the first option.