I'd still like to talk about fiction, without focusing on my writing in particular. Specifically, I've become more aware of how strange novels are, and stories more generally.
I'm talking about some really basic constraints:
-You can't have too many well-developed characters. And if you do have lots of characters, you can't introduce them all at once.
-Stories need a conflict and resolution. You can have a conflict without a resolution, but it feels much weirder than it does in real life. If you don't have a conflict, it's not a story, it's an essay.
-Pacing is counterintuitive. We want to tell the details of the story which are interesting, and skip the details which are uninteresting. For most stories, this requires zooming in and out a lot, but if you zoom in and out too much it feels jerky.
-Many novels have the conceit of a narrator character. But why would a sensible person talk like a novel, or even write about their experiences like a novel?
-Vivid descriptions are a strange concept. Why do we like them? Do we all in fact like them? Do descriptions need have anything to do with the rest of the story?
-A story has a beginning, which is disorienting. I find it telling that in video games, which are often in second person, so many stories begin with the protagonist waking up or having amnesia.
-Readers don't automatically care about characters. If you have characters do something important before readers care about them, then the readers might miss its importance entirely.
-A story has an ending. The sheer weirdness of having an ending is most obvious when we see sequels to stories where a sequel wasn't originally planned. It especially screws with character development, because how do you have a character achieve enlightenment repeatedly?
-Fiction can have a message, but is severely limited in its ability to argue the message. You can't really say "X is wrong because people in my story did X and it led to bad things." Actually, lots of fiction makes that kind of argument anyway, but I'd personally rather not.
Can you think of any other constraints in the novel or story medium?