Sunday, April 13, 2014

Untruth Be Told

Fiction is the honest telling of things untrue: storytelling. At its best it is imaginative, eloquent and relevant: a fanciful, poetic parable. Alas, even something untrue may be truthful.

A storyteller must believe what he is telling or else he is a liar. He must be honest and mindful of what he believes or else he is a fool. His story must be deeper than its ideas or it is shallow and lifeless. His characters must be motivated beyond their niche in the narrative or else they are flat. A good yarn is always more than the sum of its parts.

Telling people what is right and wrong is presumptuous and boring. A good story is honest yet unassuming. The best characters are moved by personal motives. The best narratives are about personalities dealing with the flow and balance of cause and effect. The better storyteller relinquishes control in favor of simplicity and sincerity. Honesty itself shall cleanse a work of its fallacies and strengthen its telling.

Everyone loves a good story. Few of us ever tell one. When you read, hear or watch a good story be sure to judge it on its own merits. Discount what you anticipated or hoped for. Appreciate what is actually presented. Taste may be subjective but quality itself is what it is whether noticed or not. There is no wisdom in being oblivious to what is good.

Fiction is the crafting of fancies into art. It is notions and ideas shaped and fashioned into a story. Its characters are the people we imagine. Fiction is from within.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Meaning

Most people do not care. Yes, they have their ideals and beliefs but such things are nothing of themselves. Yes, they love and are loved but such is entirely selfish either way. Most people simply do not care.

I care. I am not the only one. Why? Why not? If we need a reason to care then we simply do not care. We do care. Compassion, unlike love, is unassuming. To care for the sake of caring is the only caring worthwhile.

People need answers. There must be a point or there is no point. Politics? Religion? Science? As important as these things may or may not be, they cannot answer the one question: Why? Life? Truth? Wisdom? These things, though venerated, are without meaning of themselves. The question is always asked but the answer is seldom sought: Why? Is there a point? What if there is no point? If there is no point then all is meaningless.

I am neither a believer nor a skeptic. I am sincere. Right or wrong I am never false. Weak or strong, win or lose, I prevail. My failings are a triumph and my victories inspire. I am a light in the darkness and warmth from the cold. My fear proves courage and my sorrow is the sowing of joy. I am the gentle warrior and the brutal friend. I am the unforgiving who never forsakes. I shall tell you the dreaded answer to the question: Why? I shall make the point of it all. Whosoever has eyes to see shall see what I show. Whosoever has ears to hear shall hear what I tell.

Friendship, the very spirit of Freedom and Justice, is all that matters.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Humanity's Characters

People are what make anything and everything worthwhile. Characters are what make a story meaningful. Unlike anything else, people are who we are rather than what we are. Yes, we all have our place in the world but our universe is beyond our little world. Eternity is beyond our moments of temporal melodrama. All that is real or imagined is born of mind and spirit. People, not energy, objects, animals or plants, are the only things that can make anything more than the sum of its parts. All else is flow, balance and entropy.

Humanity is creative. We do not merely fashion tools and artifices to suit our practical needs. Our art is not merely representative of stark reality. We ask "how?" but cannot be satisfied until we discover "why?" and are inspired by the answer. Our souls yearn for the fulfillment of spirit. Even if the needs of our bodies are met, we shall hunger, thirst and gasp for breath until the "who" we are is sated. In our hearts, whether we accept the reality of it or not, we know truth and life are but vanity without freedom and justice. Even our most wicked and depraved imagine themselves righteous. We believe there is a point to it all or we despair. Our efforts are always a striving for a sense of purpose. Our endeavors are always meant to be transcendental.

Reality is as all things truly are, regardless of our fancies and perceptions. Fiction is what we imagine. As art, fiction is our waking dreams made manifest. At its best, our unreal stories explore and articulate the unseen reality of spirit. Its characters are imagined personalities that experience this transcendental reality. Their lives are how we relate to the story. Their thoughts and feelings are the life of the narrative. A story without characters is dead and irrelevant. Without us, our reality is meaningless. Ultimately, truth and fiction have everything in common, for better and for worse.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Damsels and Warriors

There is something undeniably sexy about a beautiful woman bound and gagged. A handsome man in the same predicament is less comely for it. In our horror movies, we delight in seeing the females cringe and scream. The males are expected to fend for themselves, even if in vain. In myth and legend, the woman is typically either a seductress or the "damsel in distress." Men are either predatory cads and or adventuring warriors. Why? Why the disparity? Heterosexuality.

A man's natural reproductive impulse is to penetrate a woman and spew himself into her. A woman's natural impulse is to resist him. Should he overcome her resistance then she submits to his innate desire. Because a man must be aroused to reproduce his sexuality is entirely active. A woman's sexuality does not require her compliance, physically or otherwise, thus, is innately passive. Men are naturally "sadistic" because their drive is aggressive and requires them to penetrate another person. Women are naturally "masochistic" because they are genetically conditioned to submit to sexual dominance. Yes, I know my claim pokes at the pride of the insecure. My honesty is contrary to the comforting sophistry of "political correctness." So what? Whosoever proves bold enough to peer into the burning glare of truth shall see what I am telling.

For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. Every strength is its own fundamental weakness. All things that exist are their own antithesis. "Male and female" are the sexual manifestations of "flow and balance." The adventuring warrior rescuing the "damsel in distress" resonates because it affirms the masculine "flow" achieving feminine "balance." The fantasy of the "female warrior" resonates because it signifies the strength of "flow" as exerted by "imbalance." Regardless of whether "flow" or "balance" dominate for the moment, a narrative cannot ring true unless it affirms the inevitable harmony of flow and balance. In other words: the heterosexual dynamic must be realized to fruition.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Pillars of Popular Fiction

Adventuring warriors. Lurking horrors. Comely women. Sleek technology. Magic. These things are the glorious hallmarks of popular genre fiction. Whether one, some or all, they are the things that stir our imaginations most.

Traditionally, the adventuring warrior is a manly man who exemplifies the ideals of masculine prowess. Women are excited by him because he is dangerous. They love him because he is a relentless rescuer and a fearless protector. Men admire him for every reason women desire him. As for the adventurous female warrior, men desire her and women admire her for her feminine strength and graceful prowess.

Fear is thrilling. A lurking horror fascinates because it is an entity that arouses such a strong, primal sensation. Even if the thing is ugly, it is somehow beautiful in its terrifying ugliness.

Comely women are visually appealing whether weak or strong, heroic or villainous. Their very presence is a sexual ambiance, to both men and women. Whether helpless damsel or formidable dominatrix the comely female is more "comely" than anything else. Whether we like it or not, we would have her no other way.

Magic and technology are spurred by the same impetus: empowerment by extraordinary means. They are will made manifest. Magic is viewed as "mysterious" and is associated with antiquity. Technology is the industrial "magic" of the presumed future. Both fascinate. Both illicit fear. Either way, even when vilified, magic and technology are glorified as awesome.

We like what we like whether we like it or not. Our fancies are what they are whether we entertain them or not. Our best fiction makes sense of our nonsense and does so by being exciting. Sex, violence and the fantastic make our stories vibrant, exotic and simply fun.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Fantastically Realistic

A believable story is a stronger story. Honesty and realism are the best way to achieve such verisimilitude. That said, reality falls short of inspiring. Yes, history and the news tout moments of glory but such fanfare is prone to embellishment.

Fantasy is whatever we imagine. Reality is all things as they truly are. The best fiction is the honest yet colorful expression of the human condition. The "things" in the story should never be more than the characters. The fictional people should think, feel and act as real people would in their circumstances. So long as the characters are "real" real people shall believe the story, no matter how fantastic the story may be.

A narrative is nonsense unless its characters make sense. What of the world these fictional people live in? Even the most fantastic setting can be "real" if all its fantastic elements are grounded in reality. Cause and effect, flow and balance: always. A strength must be its own innate weakness. Inertia and entropy must be factored into every aspect or else the suspension of disbelief is dispelled. Even if the particulars are not overtly explained, if the author was mindful of them then the story shall resonate an air of credibility.

The mood of a tale can prove decisive in whether or not the telling is believable. If all is always well or nothing ever goes right then the story shall not ring true. If a character is glorified for spouting the author's views or shamed for disagreeing then what is touted is dismissed as subjective. The author must move everything and everyone in the story by honest consideration of cause and effect. Even right and wrong or good and evil must be demonstrated within the context of sheer reality... or prove deservedly ridiculous.

Fantasy allows us to think beyond our limited experiences. Realism challenges us to contemplate things as they truly are. Fantastic realism is the most difficult fiction to craft. When accomplished and maintained, however, it proves both enlightening and inspiring: it stirs our minds to see the possibilities within the impossibilities.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sensual Mortality

Human beings are thrilled by the killing of people. Something about the grim notion simply resonates. Perhaps the demise of another is a stinging affirmation of the inescapable finality of death. Then again, many experience a euphoric sense of fortune when death is the misfortune of another. Slayers are known to enjoy a sensual thrill of empowerment by slaying. Others envision themselves being slain and relish the release granted by their imagined helplessness. Regardless, mortal humanity is fascinated by human mortality.

Good fiction is the eloquent sublimation of passionate thoughts and feelings. Humanity's fascination with death and our innate reproductive impulses naturally influence those thoughts and feelings. Sex and violence are provocative because they are intense and primal. Sexual violence is especially powerful, especially if done with sensual finesse. Alas, such intensity stirs us by rousing the natural fibers of our being. As a writer and an artist my favorite theme is this ultimate theme of sensual mortality.

As I was saying: humanity is thrilled by the killing of human beings. We delight in the fancy of what we dread. Our desire to propagate stirs our passions for life and death. I wondered why. I still wonder why, though I have found the answer. The question itself thrills me to ask.