Friday, January 7, 2011

Creative Writing, The Color of Difference

Discover the hidden treasure in our differences by interrogating your characters. Show no mercy when doing so. Probe, diligently to discover your characters sense of prejudice. How does s/he judge differences?

Focus on the positive aspects of "difference." Where there is difference, there is opportunity. Differences in people creates interest. Let's take a look at the difference in individual traits, culture, sexual preference, race and language to name a few. In each case, our minds are opened to different perspectives, therefore, we grow. In the heart of our differences lies the key to strength, better communications and an overall superior cognitive intelligence. Obviously, difference is relative. For example, I am American and I'm sure most people from other countries will consider I have an accent. Obviously, accents are relative. By understanding the words I pronounce boldy and by observing words Americans do not pronounce with a strong "accent," non english speaking people develop an insight into how english is properly spoken. By paying close attention to a foreign accent, the foreign language in question becomes easier to learn. This happens through the process of assimilation. The mind naturally, gravitates to difference in that it will grasp difference unequivocally.

It is what we have learned (our beliefs) that determines whether "difference" is good or bad. The mind does not distinguish positive from negative.

Because we Americans make up a diverse society, we have come to appreciate the strengths and spiritual values of difference. I consider us a microcosm of the human universe with all of its pecularities. When focusing upon what makes a character tick, we see common human motivations at play. As we look across a disparity of nations, we see that there is no difference in the human make-up, psychologically, physiologically, spiritually or emotionally.

Human prejudice is the gross result of the judgement of differences. Principally, sound and sight triggers deceptions pre-embedded in what we have been taught. We hold strongly to the traditions of what we have been taught because we believe that traditions define us. I challenge you to reconsider. It is by tradition that the better person remains undefined.

Okay, now let's take a look inside the mind of our characters with the above understanding in mind. Let's cast a blanket statement and then begin to make it more narrow, develop more perspective and allow our character's to grow. People grow by having held onto beliefs that were eventually proven untrue. which of your beliefs have changed over time?

We grow when our experience (reality) contradicts convention. We become better people when tradition is challenged by change. If this subject frightens you, you should look in the mirror and ask, " What am I afraid of?"

The measure of a persons ignorance is in direct proportion to the gravitational pull of tradition that does not pan out in reality. Let's view this thought in light of controversy. That should wake us up. Let's take interacial marriage, for example. I bet you have a few thoughts there, don't you? Ok. sure you don't. I believe you. It's okay, you can put the mirror away, if you don't like what you see.

Let's try another angle, here. How about same sex marriage? It doesn't bother you, does it? Good. A good question might be, " Why does that bother anyone? "

Ok, since you're fine and spiritually unencumbered by ignorance, let's move on. How about religion? Touchy, isn't it. Yet, God calls all of us his children. If we know that then why are we afraid?

God saw the intrinsic value in difference. Maybe, that's why he made Cardinals (red birds) and bluejays (blue birds) and a great variety of birds indigent to particular areas. If we saw a flock of blue jays fighting with a flock of red birds, we would consider this a freak act of nature, wouldn't we? Of course, because we are a more intelligent species, aren't we? Yet, we war and raise hell based on our differences. Have we not learned anything after so many years on this planet? We have unwritten laws with invisible guards standing at the door in the hallway that separates people. We say we are free, yet we remain at war. We say that we believe in a loving God, yet we hate. And the religious people? God help us. No institution known to man is more segregated than the Christian church. Difference should enlighten us. An intelligent perspective of difference should (at worse) unite. At best, it separates an actualized individual from a puppet.

How does your character respond to such controversy? Hmmm.....who is she, really?