On stories taking a life of their own...

It’s kinda funny how stories take on a life of their own. Once I release a story onto its audience, it’s hard to ask it to come home.

Although that’s the case for most things (for when a sculptor finishes with a statue, then he installs it or something, then it’s hard to bring it back home to trim a bit of the statue’s nose or something), it’s just funnier with stories because it’s so easy to unleash the written word (all I have to do is to put a story in an email and click “send”) and rework a story even after the “click-send” (as the tangible, physical art works are merely sequences of computer data existing on remote email servers and my laptop’s hard-disk) that it appears easy to “re-call” it for editing (after all, to reinstall the revised, physical art-work, I simply need paste in another email and click “send”).

But like all other things, stories really take on a life of their own, because beyond the few words or computer signals in whatever server, the art truly unfolds when it meets its audience and trigger some chemical(?), biological(?), metaphysical(?), existential(?), cognitive reaction in their minds – it paints some mental picture or describe some ideas – it does something to the audience – give is commonly refer to as the first impression.

And the audience, especially a creative one, takes that first impression, and develops it to another idea, and other renditions, and so on and forth… like some cascade reaction... giving the story life of its own.

By then I can’t say, wait, wait! Let me edit that story a bit and then pass it to you, I think I can re-arrange the ending then we might get a better cascade reaction from you! Because that’ll be too late, as the first impression would have already ran its course and galloped away into whatever horizon. Bye bye.

Come back come back! I may shout to it, but the audience’s take on the work is somewhat set.

What will happen when the same audience reads the new rendition? I think it’d be like formulating the first impression of the new rendition and it’ll be another thing altogether. The audience would be like, hey this looks like something that I’ve seen before, and it’s not as fresh and… maybe grammatically better, but… hm. It’s hmm…

So, well, anyway my point is just that it’s kinda funny.