Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Writer's Interior Fillibuster

You are a walking argument.

Also a sitting one, as in sitting down to a meal in a restaurant where choice is a fulcrum and decisions sit at each end of the balance bar.

Also in a bookstore, as in which aisle to peruse, which choice, choices, to be made.

Also, any number of other arguments, such as whether to listen on the car radio to NPR or an all-classical or all-jazz format.

Or plug your iPod into the MP3 outlet for relay through the car sound system.

Settling down at some hour in the night with the agenda of sleep uppermost, there is that slight nudge from the memory of an article noted in the latest New Yorker or the London Times Literary Supplement, surely one last thing you could digest before sleep, the better to process it while sleeping, perhaps to the point of encoding it into the already over programmed code of your dreaming process.

Coming to wakefulness at some time in the morning, the day's agenda tugging at you for preferential treatment, that moment where the rotors and generators of the sleep mechanism have still not stopped spinning, there is that moment of temptation for investigating the potential for a last half hour of sleep and the suggestion, the promise of some insight being offered by your unconscious partner of an insight that will carry you through the day ahead, better prepared for the mischievous warp and weft of reality.



Choices, sides to be taken in an internal debate on questions, issues, preferences you have debated many times before, from all available sides.

Although you may on occasion take time to consider the options before making your choice, you are not an indecisive individual.  In fact,  one of your internal debates is whether or not you are too quick to chose, rendering an informed choice almost impossible.

ll this is your resume, your curriculum vitae for creating characters from whom you will create stories in specific recognition of the differences between these creations an an additional recognition that they, as you do, are in a constant state of exacerbated internal debate.

Small wonder your definition of story is:  two or more individuals enter a setting each believing him- or herself to be right in terms of morals, taste, goals, and preferences.

There is a voyeur's pleasure at watching these aspects of yourself, enhanced as though on steroids by your own concepts and understandings of conflict.  There is the additional pleasure of creating someone who has differing tastes--cats, tea, Norman Mailer, abstract art, the Jefferson Airplane--from you, whose politics differ from yours, who is more or less decisive, smarter, quicker, even more impatient than you, and doing so with respect bordering on admiration.

You want these creations to be able to take you down in an argument, to outdrink, outlook, outthink, out write you, a testament to the fact that while you have not given up thinking you are right, you are able to spend time in the company of those beings who also think that of themselves and yet are not loathe to spend time in your company.

This dialectic is a true two-way street.  You are amused to find yourself being patronized in real life, disturbed to discover yourself patronizing characters whose views and tastes differ from yours.  You have grown more tolerant of the self of you who in real life does not get things, needs them explained, is easily misled.  You are appalled to discover yourself in your writing on the despotic or bigoted side, thus committed to the scary push in fiction of the arguments and anomalies in accelerated forms of debate within your interior senate.

No comments: