It is often stated that a writer must spend time on considering the nuances of a character, as this will allow the writer to perform the continuity of a character’s disposition. This is nonsense, and negates the unpredictability of life experiences. How many of us our challenged by the capriciousness of our existence? How many of us talk of friends and foes we have long known, and stated that we could not believe that they acted or behaved in certain circumstances the way that they have? I thought I knew him/her … what an astonishment that he/she acted otherwise? A reader’s interest must always be faced with surprise – irony – intriguing questioning. Writing is a craft, not an art. If the reader can predict the outcome ahead of time, quality writing comes from the fact that it still surprises the reader when certain things take place in a work of fiction, even if already determined that it could/would happen.
Our greatest fear is not the horrors transpiring in our lives, but the uncertainty that comes with them. “Death can come at any hour.” This is why I prefer making my protagonists’ not postmodern anti-heroes, but rather, Byronic heroes. The latter realize the inevitable, but still ascend their being in giving meaning to an otherwise life without purpose and, which is unpredictable. Purpose must be performed and posited against the vagueness of all the intangibles thrown at us. The Byronic hero might be cynical, and even appear misanthropic, but still displays a quality of compassion and sensitivity. He/she cannot save humankind, but only offer an alternative to the status quo, thus even in his/her failure he/she imposes a meaning upon existence. Lessons are learned. Existence then becomes cyclical, and not final. There is no causality due to fate, but rather choices made, repeated, just as those found in the change of seasons.
The protagonists and even other characters are always conscious of their inner cortical dilemma, which surpasses mere being. Consciousness precedes being. The protagonist will bet against the house, but always with calculated risks. My characters will prepare for as many intangibles as possible, and what some call an obsessive compulsive disorder, in reality, is due diligence. The latter comes from the epiphany that the final outcome is always ambiguous, but the replaying in one’s mind gives an advantage for confronting the possible permutations that could transpire … one prepares for all intangibles as probable.
He/she knows full well that the casino always wins, but also knows that the casino can never leave its mark, in finality, but is subjected to the winds of time that will leave all its gambling illusions lost to the relentless metrics of motion. It all continues … without end. Just as the protagonist, in my book Enmeshed Within, Jimmy, witnesses the freight trains traveling through his town, under the beguiling smile of the fire streaming from the steel mill stacks near his father’s warehouse, leading to another dotted spell of a towns seeking meaning, but these towns are lost in the convenience of contrivance. Thus, there is a paradox in the protagonist, because he/she both accepts and battles the inevitable, but succumbs to its decisions, realizing the battle is set for another day … a new rebirth. He/she may lose, or seem to lose, but also knows that beyond the mere being of one’s existence, one must confront the consequences of one’s choices, because the conscious choice is the living – beyond simply being – for that which shall always be, will be. The physical manifestation is the illusion, the Maya, because the motion is always smoke and mirrors, and filled with choices. Silence – non-motion is the Spirit – the breath and steps we take are merely the upticks in the sine waves, like the gasping and whining sounds of an oncoming locomotive heard in the distances of night.