Life is like a novel.
A novel is a written work of prose usually in a narrative style. Novels tell stories, which are typically defined as a series of events described in a sequence. It begins with a title that makes it different from all the rest. Like a name given at birth sets the person apart. The copyright page shows the date the book was made and its publishers. In the same vein, the love of a couple has made a person’s existence possible.
Each line on a page tells of an event, emotion or thought. Each page give meaning to the chapter and each chapter contributes to the story as a whole. Each day in a life is like another line on a page, each month a page, each year a chapter. The author cannot write a novel in one sitting. It may take months or even years to get a story told.
The first few chapters are an easy read. They introduce the protagonist and the supporting characters. Is she a sweet girl or a bitch? How did she become so accomplished or so bitter? Why are the two sisters estranged or those brothers so kind? Yes, the first few pages, that is, the first few years of life, determine the personality and perspective of the lead characters.
Is the protagonist the narrator or is someone else telling the story? In life, one can determine one’s path or have it determined by others. Is he a victim of circumstance or the initiator of wondrous deeds?
A good novel has its protagonist in lights and shadows. There are good characters and there are bad ones. They add sugar and spice, suspense and romance. There are supporting characters who help the protagonist in the face of trials. And other characters who cause these trials. Some characters are mysterious. And there are some whose true nature–are they friend or foe–will only be revealed in the end.
The setting also affects the story. Some novels are set in only one place: a small town or a busy city. Other novels have multiple settings, which takes the protagonist all over the world.
But the setting is not the most essential part of the story. It is the climax, the turning point which sets the stage for the rest of the story. But the buildup itself can be as dramatic. In fact, there are times that a reader cannot really determine if that part of the novel is the climax and not just another buildup. Will that professional dilemma change her life forever or is it but a phase? In some novels, the climax cannot be spotted or understood until the book is read.
No two novels have the same length. There are no rules in literature that dictates its number of pages or words. The only rules are that it should have a beginning, a climax and a conclusion. The story, whether short or long, is a complete one. Whether a person lives to a hundred or the age of one. That life has made an impact on the lives of others. A story can be told.
Will it be a happy ending? At this point in the novel, it is still to be wished. (538 words)