Monday, February 03, 2014
In writing fiction, is it OK to always remain onstage?
I’ll be reviewing all my unpublished novel manuscripts soon, laying all the pieces of interrelated plots and putting them together as if they were a jigsaw puzzle. They strike me now as something that could become a television series, with a multiplicity of characters and some bizarre situations and events that you find in soap operas.
I have always been “on stage” in my fiction manuscripts, and this is true in the three “fiction” pieces in my upcoming “Do Ask, Do Tell III” book. There is certainly a lot of attention to the nature of my own fantasy material, and of right-wing-style institutions around that would try to educate “people like me”. This all comes from a long standing background of being pressured to conform to the values of others. It’s true that some of my nature is beyond my capacity to choose. But it’s become apparent to me in more recent years that this is true of many other people and it affects their real needs.
More recent fiction efforts, particularly the novel manuscript “Angel’s Brothers”, have focused in telling the stories from the viewpoints of other characters, including an elderly ex-FBI agent, a fortyish history teacher (and family) moonlighting with the CIA, and a young college student with some unusual gifts – maybe “powers”. One of the screenplays is told from the viewpoint of a journalist, cheating on a pregnant finacee who suddenly “goes up”. Yet, even in these, I am always “in the background”. Ultimately, my worldview comes into play and permeates the lives of other more mainstreamer-like characters.
What would be challenging to write a story about characters and issues that have nothing to do with me personally. I know this is expected all the time, expected in Hollywood (I could not imagine want to set up “Labor Day”, for example), but right now it is still beyond me.
Clive Barker once wrote (in the opening of Imajica) that more than three people on state at a time makes a crowd, and that doesn't help crowdsourcing. If I'm present, I'm definitely an observer, and forward enough (even in the Army) to affect the surrounding combat.
The middle picture: the car really looked lavender.