Thursday, September 17, 2009

Trust requires a creative engine

Because I saw often identified certain of my enduring fictional characters with real people (a few since have become very real of their own essence), initially I felt rather neurotic about introducing enemies. I didn't write very much about anyone you could conveniently label as "evil." Life is a work, time is filled with our works; I envisioned ourselves in those stories steady at tasks of discovery, exploring the nature of people and things---adventurous philosophers---able to step into ideas visited in dream.

Stories you can relate to visit problems and struggles upon their protagonists precisely because we are already at odds with our hearts' desires, each and every one of us, whenever we seek to manifest anything at all we want in life. At the time, I considered us as spirits in symbolic, conceptual struggles. I did not want to imagine and envision people in conflict with one another without producing peaceful resolution; I did believe we should forgive everyone, whatever power it takes, and strive for what could be described in morality's metaphorical terms as our higher angels (problematic, when one is simply attempting to describe benevolent humanism, which I found required an endless supply of trust). Concepts and extra-dimensional, existential menace not unlike that we already find when thinking for ourselves, were the opposition; you could say "for we struggle not against flesh, but against principalities" to quote Paul in the Bible.

So, just as stories require a creative, story telling engine, so do relationships.

Now, characters spouting philosophy while they hike weird places with an idealogical cause attached is still bound to be a feature of my writing, but it is the rare individual (and there SHOULD be something for them) who would accept traveling ecologues full of information. There is a reason few people read encyclopedias the way they watch movies (though I highly recommend treating yourself to articles in the spirit of information as a story).

Let's come down to earth, then, where these ideas are needed! I languished and practiced and typed enough to realize I'd learned the hard part and now needed to dig into the part I'd ignored so often: the part of life where all of your feelings happen. ALL of them---not just the untouched mystical planes of our secret identities here in cosmic existence, but something of the world where ideals and expectations generate clashes great and small, the place for where we'd best prepare.

Where each character of mine generates their trust, there we find the fountainhead of their motivations. I learned a great villain or thief may not only hold a fascination or even touch upon some subliminal terror or even longing, but demonstrate for us the verity of a wisdom evident, perhaps in their words---perhaps in our repulsion at their example.

All of this leads to undertaking the groundwork for creating deeply relatable casts where, as in life, situations pit people in opposition. My interest in creating characters that stand up to multiple episodes means finding circumstances that will create stories that explore different facets and flesh out the people involved, and maybe leave me with that deeper sympathy, and hope for others, that we are discouraged to abandon in the fallible somethings of life. Along the way, we'll discover characters to which we can relate, together with us in our struggles.

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