Why Stick Figure Stories?

Why is a prose-writer’s website called “Stick Figure Stories”?

The stick figure is one of the most relatable characters in art. Most humans can look at a stick figure and see ourselves, no matter what the story. As Scott McCloud put it in chapter two of Understanding Comics:

When two people interract, they usually look directly at one another, seeing their partner’s features in vivid detail. Each one also sustains a constant awareness of his or her own face, but this mind-picture is not nearly so vivid; just a sketchy arrangement… a sense of general placement.

Thus, when you look at a photo or realistic drawing of a face, you see it as the face of another. But when you enter the world of the cartoon, you see yourself.

Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics, p.35-6

When coming up with my own stories, or reading someone else’s, I almost never see the characters in my head. I imagine their body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions from within, knowing how they feel, but not necessarily how they look. So when I was challenged to describe my writing style in no more than five words, I went with “stick figure speculative fiction”. This description fit so well, that I decided to use it as the name of this site.

NB: You could make the case that all fiction is speculative by definition, but “SpecFic” has been adopted as a catch-all term for fantasy, science fiction, alternate history, and anything else that isn’t set in our reality. More on this another time

Also, I’m absolutely and 100% not an artist, so stick figures are about the limit of what I can draw. 

An example of my "art". A simple stick figure with its arms in the air, is saying "Yay, Art!". A smaller, plainer figure replies, "No" A third, smiling stick figure has the words "So visual!" around its head. The word "NO" beside it has eyes and a mouth inside the 'O'.

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