We bare ourselves – down to our easily assailable and accessible frail frames to be known in the biblical sense as well as the primary sense when we (writers) create a new true being – a character who others relate to. Everything I spit is born two entities, how the other sees himself and my vision of that person. Since childhood my visions of the world has been very adult having had my parent’s bitter life view force-fed me since my birth. The way this affects me is that I relate to the world by constantly studying everyone around me since we are all cast in our own life drama novels anyway. No one wants to live in a drama but we often do even when it’s third hand or when we are just all “watchers” like in the fringe or living inside Jackson’s Lottery.
A long time ago – in two separate universes – one undergraduate writing class at Columbia University General Studies and the other two decades later in the Master’s Degree Creative Writing Program at The City University of New York City, A comment/ question was made regarding my style.
A fellow student said, “her characters lack any empathy; for my part they’re completely lacking. Why should I care about them?”
Basically both professors said the same; “The point is not whether you like them or not, but that you feel something about them. You may not like her characters, but they are real enough to tick you off. I care about what her characters will do next and that’s more important than liking or not liking them because that will keep me reading!” After this the class calmed down about my characters’ personalities. All I can guess is that they led more conservative sheltered circumscribed lives than me.
Not to disappoint but I also had the opposite happen with a weak instructor who later stole a few lines from my writing. He asked for my complete novel and I stupidly gave it to him. The class said I’d already presented enough when one of those times was an assignment no one else did – we were asked to choose a character from history and write a page or two about them. I read mine since no one else had one. Ah well, I was disappointed he didn’t defend me since I clearly hadn’t presented my two short stories. It bothered me but I pity him too as he hasn’t written anything worth reading in a while after he stooped to a new low. No one else from there gained name fame either so ... onwards all to a new phase and forgetting the past!
Creative people often set a standard and in that standard social commentary is included. If you don’t like a character I’ve made, that character has already served his purpose because he has provoked your dislike and judgments.
Writing is all I know and the only way to show true purpose. I’m also part of my own commentary emerging from a consistently frightful analytic mind. That said, like everyone else, I only want to be my best.
Ta Da!Back to where we began:
May your new year be all that you wish it be; blessed be.