I was re-reading the ant king the other day and on my latest reading I suddenly had exactly the opposite reaction to the collection than my first several readings...
On my first several go rounds I kept being dizzily impressed by how different all the stories were... they leap around, scene to scene, genre to genre, voice to voice... oh, diversity! excitement! thrills...! whee! which is nice because who doesn't need a snack of thrills and derring do from time to time when relaxing in one's private time?
Suddenly the other day, I had this epiphany that all of the stories are more alike than different and that in fact the reason they all "scratch the same itch" for me is pretty simple structurally...
Is it just me, or can every story in the ant king (excepting maybe the cities)be essentially summed up like this: a protagonist struggles with the reality of their life, something happens and then their world ends and their life is totally transformed and a new future becomes possible and then the story ends in that perfect grace note.
And then the reader is left with that tone perfect, ahhhhhh experience of "wow, that was just right. I love that story. What a clever author... why do I love that story so much? wow."
In fact, I love that experience so much that I come and read the blog because I want a taste of it and sometimes it works its way into the posts especially when Noah is involved and I get to have a magic rock in my heart and embrace a childlike love of doubles food cake and the world is never the same again.
How do you take that experience into a novel though? Do you struggle with that?