Monday, March 5, 2012

16580--Playing God for Fun and Profit

  Writing is a strange endeavor.  It's sort of an exercise in how to make friends (literally, for those of us who would craft fiction) and influence people.  The work of creating characters, full worlds in which they live and act, and of course the tales that bind them maddens the mind of many a writer.  Some have trouble shouldering the pressure of all that hangs on their every word choice and turn of phrase.  Sadly, that is part of the paradox of the human mind.

People carry the desire within them to be in command of their own destiny, of the elements of their world.  People relish the power to make choices.  At the same time, many shy away from such positions of power and authority, unable to bear the weighty mantle of such responsibility.  No matter the circumstances, even the earliest record of man indicates simultaneous drives to control and to abdicate responsibility for things beyond control to unseen higher powers.  With no evidence, stories were created.  Faith was created, explaining mysteries of lightning, thunder, fire,'s as though we have an inherent fear, some of us, of being the master.  We don't want to be alone in the dark, no one watching over us.  We want desperately to grow up, but still to entrust our well-being to unseen parents.  It makes us feel better.

Writers write, but how many will attempt to remove themselves from the pilot's seat, claiming that their characters write themselves or act of their own accord?  How many claim their stories write themselves?  Even cast in a role of absolute authority, as a writer or an artist bringing absolutely anything into existence from nothing, many refuse to accept it.  Was it divine inspiration?  Did the devil make them do it?

Who's to say who's right?  Maybe our ancestors were guided by ancient aliens or divine beings and were taught at the dawn of creation that we aren't alone in the dark and beings far greater than our meager ability to understand do indeed watch us from above.  Maybe we're just striving to be like them.

Whatever the answer, worldbuilding is heavy work.  I know it keeps my brain busy, learning all the details and making sure they fit together.  On some level, it's almost addictive.  And it never seems to get simpler no matter how many planes/dimensions/worlds I let myself get sucked into populating...and then depopulating.  I'm also pretty confident that, even though I don't know how all the connections are made in that brain to create what's created, what I write won't write itself.  I also know I'm not going to wait for a note from a divine messenger, especially one I've created.  For good or ill, it's all on me.

I'd better get back to work.


  1. I really enjoyed your post. When I write I create a stage, throw my characters in there, and let them do their thing. It's fun and most of the time I simply have to jot down what they're doing.

    1. Glad you liked it. I'm always happy to provide such mental entertainment. Thanks for taking the time to share back, as I also enjoy learning the thoughts and processes of others.