Saturday, June 16, 2012

Does God Speak Through Writers?

 A wise man once said, "an unexamined life is a life not worth living."

At the risk of stating the obvious, it's worth repeating, one of the most important rules of success is to do that which we love. We must make effective use of the two most precious human assets: good health and time, both of which shall inevitable vanish by appointment.

 If we are not doing that which we love, I submit we are either mentally incapacitated, grossly ignorant of the value of life or confused, all of which lead to the same oblivious road.

During the process of character development, I challenge writers to make the character's psychological outlook known through the character's actions, much like in real life; people say one thing and do another. We hope for a particular outcome and sometimes we are disappointed. How does your character handle that one? Maybe we feel too old or too young or too something... which prevents us from having what we want. Does your character feel that way?

What we really believe is demonstrated not so much by what we say, nor are it's parameters established by who people believe we are. Who we are is manifested in many ways:

(1) How we feel about God
(2) How we feel about success and failure in general
(3) How we value the assets of good health and of time
(4 )How we deal with fear
(5) How we handle relationships

 Like us, our characters are challenged by many conflicts as they try to find their way in the world. How characters deal with conflict tell us much about them no matter who they claim they are.

 Observe yourself, vicariously, from a distance and ask "How do I behave when something does not go my way?"

 An honest answer is best arrived at after a dialog with self. That's one of the spiritual aspects of art and of writers in particular that I so appreciate: the ability to question oneself and others regarding life changing issues.

The above question is a game changer...a life defining moment.  Great men and women have grown to cherish this idea because it can inspire perfect love. How? We come to know that we are not in control of anything separate of our thoughts...or should be.  The question, if pondered, truly broadens the mind, strengthens the imagination and ultimately leads to a kind of self-actualization that honors the underlying authority in an individual's life, adding credibility and exposure to the source which we honor.

If we honor decency it is because we are decent. If we honor wisdom it is because we are wise. Those who honor gain will always be in need. Those who give shall not be without.

What does your character honor?

It's important to know from a moral point of view because if you are giving life to a shady character in your story, that character must remain true to form. He or she, will honor many things indecent. The key to such a "slimy" character (and almost every fiction story needs one) is that he/she must answer to the law of compensation in the end.

To make this character work, justice must prevail in a form that vex and torment the character as it does in real life. For example, the shady character will respond to some form of fear. He may be afraid of getting old. She may fear criticism, poverty, illness...all the dark notions that are not a part of the characters reality for which he has given birth to his own demons. That reminds me of a verse in the Bible that says, " will be running when no one is chasing them." It is, in a higher sense God's judgement upon them.

A sense of justice permeates the end of a character's journey in much the same way it shapes the life of the writer.