0274 - Themes. - 2023.01.02
There are a number of different approaches to writing fiction.
When I'm writing my comics, I usually just set up a scenario, populate it with characters whose voices I know, then sit back and see what they do, occasionally putting a little English on the ball so that each strip comes to... if not a "punchline", at least a snappy-feeling end. When I'm writing a book, I start with the happy ending and work my way backward, or sometimes start with the climactic scene in the middle and work my way in both directions. When I really don't know what to do, I pull a reverse-Chekov: litter the stage with "guns" in act one, see which ones go off by act three, then go back and remove all the guns that never did anything.
It's a very similar activity to GMing a roleplaying game, another skill I like to think I possess. I set up a scenario, I put characters in it, I let them find their way towards the end (or, at least, towards AN end). Sometimes, I put English on the ball, if the players don't know where the end is. Some games require more English than others.
Truth is stranger than fiction because fiction is required to make sense to the reader - effects must follow from causes, characters must act in accordance with their beliefs and desires, there must be a beginning, a middle, and an end. Reality, unfortunately, is under no such constraint.
Fiction is also able to pick and choose which scenes to show you - we might focus in on the pepper in the spice rack because it's going to be used in the fight scene later, while the basil and the bay leaves get no such attention. Fiction rarely shows characters asleep or in the bathroom, because significant events rarely happen when they're sleeping or pooping.
Are you a protagonist? Do you dress like a protagonist? Do you have protagonist vibes? Do you have sidekick or villain or love interest vibes? Are you foreshadowing the plot events you want to happen in act three?
Are you the writer of your own story?