My story is long and kind of sad, and the ending is sad too. It doesn’t seem to have a lot of meaning. It’s just a sad story about a guy getting through life after being in a mental institution for a few years and Idk how to give it meaning.
You need to figure out the purpose of your story, which is to say you need to figure out two things: 1) what is the story goal? 2) what is your MC’s goal?
Your story goal, in a nutshell, is why you are telling the story. What is your purpose in sharing this sad tale? What are you trying to tell the reader? What do you want them to feel? What do you want them to take away?
Your character has just been through an incredibly unique, interesting, and presumably transformative experience. They’re probably not coming out of that with their hands in their pockets and no direction. What are they going to do? What do they want? Is there anything they want to work toward? Anything they want to achieve? Even something simple like “adjusting to life outside the institution” is a goal. There are internal and external goals, and many characters have both. An internal goal would be something like, “learn how to love again.” An external goal would be something like, “buy a house” or “take the ring to Mordor.”
Once you figure out the goals of your character and story, it’s going to be a lot easier to build meaning into the story. :)
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