(FP’ed 3:15 AM, EDT, October 1, 2007
Middle of the night bookmongering. I love it. – promoted by exmearden)
Novels tell a story lived by characters. These characters? They pull us into their worlds. They show us their worlds from the inside. Any good novel has to have some exceptional character development otherwise it will lack multidimensional characters and may be left with uninteresting ones who fall flat and ultimately let the novel down.
Some fictional characters stick with us for a variety of reasons. Characters like the Wife of Bath, Captain Ahab, the white whale, Alice, Holden Caufield, Gandalf, Jay Gatsby, Celia Garth, Beowulf, Hamlet, and so many others inspire us to ask questions about the worlds that exist both within and around us. Some, like Rosencrantz and Guilderstern offer us bits of humor amidst the darkness and tragedy. Others, like Peter Pan, Charlotte, and D’Artagnan, offer us insight into our better angels while still others–Voldemort, Big Brother, Cardinal Richelieu remind us of the darker shadows that surround us.
I still remember the night I sailed the high seas with Jim Hawkins and Long John Silver in Treasure Island. It was raining, storming actually, as I read that book from cover to cover when I was 13. The wind and rain lashing against the window only added to the feeling I got as I read the book.
J.R.R. Tolkien pulled me in as well as I walked with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf headed off on their quest. Same with C.S. Lewis and the Narnia series. Each one suggesting that in spite of all the bad shit going on in the world, someone somewhere still had hope.
Sometimes we read to escape the world we within which we live. Other times, the books we read highlight the wonders of our world or reflect the deep fractures present in our social fabric.
These books? They make us laugh, cry, smile, shiver, scream, gasp, recoil. The writers write…the characters live…the worlds exist…and the readers, we take it in and process the story in our brains looking for implied messages or just a damn good story.
And so even as we growl about lame resolutions vs. rejected amendments, worry about troops who haven’t had a break in ages, futz about leaders who
negotiate temporary extensions kick the can down the road, and rail against politicians who seem to not to be doing their jobs in the Real World…1 October is coming.
That, dear friends, means that the new site for the National Novel Writing Month will be up and running.
Sign up! Chris Baty’s reminders starts some time tomorrow.
There’s a bit of a plot in my head. But it’s still more than a little bit sketchy.
Anyone else planning on spending the month of November typing out a 50,000 word novel in a caffeine stoked haze while listening to the novel’s soundtrack running through your head?