Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Writer's Creed

Ok, maybe not so much a creed.  But certainly a good portion of an argument that I think is worth  posting here as it's own blog spot.  The rest of the argument can be found here
This is my writing from that a comment.  Luke Heartsdale is my character, and so I feel that, as it is my writing, it is fine to post this here to be read on it's own in this blog, as well as being referenced back to its origins on the Flickr picture post.  Feel free to comment here or there.
Writing and storytelling have always been in the realms of natural and either 'unnatural' or 'supernatural'. I suppose, in the long run, I choose the latter because, if something is created, no matter how abstract and hard to define as something of nature, it still is a part of the whole of what is natural. Therefore, it's supernatural because the explanation of its creation/existence is outside our realm of being able to describe it in whatever bubble of normalcy we accept or choose to buy into. I choose to refrain from calling things supernatural 'mythical', mainly because, the very meaning of the root of the word, being mythos, basically means 'story.' And, if anything can be made into a story, which anything can, then all things can be considered mythical. The only difference between modern and ancient myths is what we know, or think we know, compared to what our ancestors knew, or what we think they knew. What is the commonality? All stories, past present, and future, were, are, and will be based on the experiences and imaginations of the human beings that have, do, and will make the stories they write. And most of all, for any story - any myth - to come into being, someone has to either write it down, or at least tell it for it to be passed down in some form or another, regardless of what shape the forms of media take in any given human generation. But this is the altruism of story writing that has been passed down and remains as sacred a tradition to a writer as Sacred Tradition does in so many world religions, even in those Bible thumping Sola Scriptura Evangelist Christians that would claim they go by no tradition, but the Bible alone. I'm sorry to tell them, as much as they doth protest, by going by that principality, they have been going by a tradition that's now nearly 400 years old.

But think about that. Just in noting tradition, just in speaking of stories, there is the workings of conflict no matter what. Why? Because there are multiple schools, theories, principalities all at work there. Whether we like to see it or not, our lives revolve around some sort of conflict, no matter how big or small we make of it. Tolkien himself had noted that he saw it no big a thing if people want to explore the dreadfulness of modern life any more than those that delve deep into the mythologies or ancient peoples now long dead. Of course, he quipped, just as any sensible author might, that modern people can be just as 'dead' and dull as those ancient people, but he, who gave us the world of Middle Earth and all the Lord of the Rings entails, does not deny that the modern world has created for us the blueprints for even fantasy. In some ways, he chose, consciously or not, to utilize his real life experiences to help drive meaning into his world of fantasy. It was a place he could escape to, yes, and certainly to free his creativity and imagination. But it was also a safe place to explore his ideas and experiences from real life, and maybe in doing so, helped to keep him sane and hone in on an ability to be reflective in nature. To maybe relive the horrors or war, but to also provide a way to produce his lessons learned from war in a way that does not lecture or preach, but shows them in powerful imagery.

I will never deny that RP is a form of entertainment and escapism. So are many books, movies, and other media. But, RP does not just have to be limited to such. Mythos itself cannot be limited to one lock in step way of doing things. Although, just like life itself, it does have the basic pattern, that eternal cycle of having a beginning, a middle, and an end. Humanity did not need Aristotle to note this. But Aristotle was one of the ones of antiquity that we can point to that did put it in the footnotes of the human story. And ever since then, all stories mimic the three act play, or deconstructed it to basically recontruct it and come up with the same thing, but with a few more steps added here and there. Regardless, the cycle is there in a story we create, just as the cycle of life is there in our collective story of humanity. There's no getting past the rhythm. It's just there. It exists. And it will continue to exist for as long as we, or some other sentient being is around to create stories and be part of the story of life.

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