It turns out it was all a dream: Strange Horizons’ “stories we’ve seen too often”

1) Person is (metaphorically) at point A, wants to be at point B. Looks at point B, says “I want to be at point B.” Walks to point B, encountering no meaningful obstacles or difficulties. The end. (A.k.a. the linear plot.)
2) Creative person is having trouble creating.
Writer has writer’s block.
Painter can’t seem to paint anything good.
Sculptor can’t seem to sculpt anything good.
Creative person’s work is reviled by critics who don’t understand how brilliant it is.
Creative person meets a muse (either one of the nine classical Muses or a more individual muse) and interacts with them, usually by keeping them captive.

Much, much more here.

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