N is for Narrow

As writers, we are perforce required to narrow things down. We have to decide which genre to write in, who or what our main character or subject is, what time frame they exist in. We do it of a necessity so that we don’t overwhelm ourselves or our readers with either too much irrelevant information or too confusing of a plot line. Books written that way tend to get set aside quickly and only very rarely picked back up.

So when is narrow too narrow? Usually, we like to present our information in a simple linear fashion. Picture if you will, a simple dirt path that leads to a rope and plank bridge over an impassable gorge. It is straightforward and it gets you from point a to point b, negating the impossible obstacle that is the gorge. The bridge, or narrow viewpoint, is necessary to reach the endpoint.

 

bridge

 

Now imagine if you will that same bridge, but instead of over a gorge, its in the middle of a beautiful mountain meadow. Does it make any sense to be there? Does it serve any purpose? No, but we have become so focused on that bridge as the only way from point a to point b that we have failed to see its lack of usefulness in this situation. That it is cutting us off from the beauty and possibilities that surround us. So narrow minded focus can be a good thing, but only if it used in the right places.

 

mountain meadow

 

What is a book that has either too narrow a focus or not narrow enough that you will never finish/read again?

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