A few light sketches of barely-parsed ideas regarding some preliminary thoughts:
With this next short story, I have two--three formal principles I want to fulfill:
1. I want to write a completely linear narrative
--> I feel liked I've been hiding my lack of facility with emotional storytelling behind a distracting veil of post-modern, non-linear and preciously ambiguous storytelling--and I'm tired of it. For now, at least.
2. I want to focus on developing a character before I develop the narrative
--> In tandem with my reliance upon fractured storytelling to hide a weak story, I feel like I've also been using non-linearity to hide weak (or non-existent) characters.
3. Develop a metaphor out of who the character is, using what s/he thematically does
--> I seem to have, so far, been callously using my characters to push my own propaganda. I haven't cared for them, or fell deeply in love or deeply hated them. Their purposes in my narratives aren't even, literally, skin deep. I want to feel passionately about my characters, the way I do about my ideas.
While I will probably never abandon my desire to sculpt/loop/fragment time--cinema is, after-all, one of only a few ways we can ever attain some sense of *visual* temporal objectivity over discrete moments of time--but I think I'd like to set it aside for the time being, and focus on the things that make a good story worth hearing/seeing/telling/showing: characters we love and love to hate, and putting them through their personal hells so they may or may not find their personal heavens. Someday, probably not very far off, I'll circle back to non-linear storytelling. But hopefully, by such time, I'll be armed with more narrative and characteristic confidence and finesse than is currently within my grasp.
Here's to trying.