Every time I’m asked what is my story about, I struggle to communicate it. So instead of trying to explain it on the fly, I’m going to write out my response. Then next time someone asks me, I can queue up this blog post.

My work in progress, January 2021

The story I’m working on now is about language, communication, and emotions. My character is a famous linguistics professor. He’s commissioned to travel across the world into the amazon jungle in order to translate a language of an uncontacted tribe. But when he arrives, he discovers the language is nothing like he’s ever studied before. Then as he struggles to learn the language, the tribe gradually becomes less trustful of him, and they become more erratic and tensions build.

There are also a few other plots about a struggling marriage and his desire to become a politician.

What’s more interesting is why he struggles to learn the language in the first place, why is this tribal language so difficult for him. And it’s because my character focuses on the words being said, rather than the expression of it. I picture watching a foreign film. If the acting is good, you can understand more without subtitles. While my character is solely focused on the subtitles, so much that he misses what is actually happening in the story.

What I’ve spent all year figuring out is why my character is so focused on the words and why can’t he express himself from emotion. And in short, it’s because he’s afraid to be vulnerable. So throughout the course of the story, that’s what he learns. He’s forced to learn how to speak from emotion and expression because that’s the only way the tribal language can be spoken. After he learns to do that, he can not only communicate better with the tribe, but now better with his wife. The story saves his marriage.