Wednesday, November 14, 2018

On Writing The Collapse

Do we write what is in our souls, or by writing does it imprint itself on our souls?

As I have been writing "The Collapse" (which is actually based on a real placed and maybe based on certain aspects of my own life), I have found myself thinking in certain ways that previously I would not have contemplated:  what would life be like if I lived life on the essentials?  What would life be like if I lived away - truly away - from people?  What is life like when you are largely alone?  What would life be like under a government which, if not actively hostile, was at least passively so?

As I write (and then read), I begin to wonder where these thoughts are coming from:  is it from myself?  Or is the character I am creating making embedding these thoughts in my mind and making them a part of my thought patterns.

The future the character lives in seems in some very meaningful ways very different from the one I foresee for myself - yet on the other hand add in a couple of twists of fate and it is a very real future indeed.

Part of our lives is built on the idea (at least in the modern world) of predictability:  that things will largely be as things have been and that the water will run, power will click on with a switch, and that my variety of apples will always be in the store.  Up to 100 years ago that was no more true in the Western World than anywhere else; now, to present this to people (especially the young) is to present a world as unreal as Barsoom or the Hyborian Age.

It also presumes that our personal relationships will remain as they have ever been, and that those friendships and family relationships we have had over the years will continue to be the same.  Practical experience of my own as well as readers of this site would tell you otherwise.

I do not fully know where the character in "The Collapse" ends up; no author ever really does.  At some point characters and situations acquire a life of their own and the author becomes no more than a journalist recording events.  But I do know that his thoughts and ideas are coming to influence my own.


  1. And maybe that is the reason for this particular story. To write through things that are troubling you, but with a slight twist as you point out, because you don't want it to be that way?

    Sorry to ramble in your introspection.

    God bless. :-)

  2. Interesting. I've only dabbled with fiction, but I've read some of the things other writers have said and apparently the work takes on a life of it's own. There is something to be said for creative inspiration, but where it comes from is a mystery.

  3. Not at all Linda - That is the point of introspection, to use the thought process to question and analyze things.

    I do find writing to be an excellent way of thinking though.

  4. Leigh - It is. I have looked at some things I have written after the fact and have no idea where the thoughts (sometimes profound ones) came from. They certainly do not seem to have come from me.

  5. This is the Holy Spirit getting you into the mode of thinking that will help you get through the coming times. The Spirit approaches each of us differently in this respect. In your case, it's through your own writing. Thoughts, not of your own mind, end up on the paper, teaching you... and us... in the process. In my case, it's constant tinkering; engines, ham radio, gardening, and the like. I'm a Jack of all trades, but a master of none. Still, I can get by with little, if little is all I have. The young 'uns watch me, and learn as well.

    God will help those open to His teaching...

  6. are you a published author?/

  7. Pete - What a truly interesting concept. I had never ever thought of it that way before. Makes it seem a bit more significant then.

    And well done on the Jack of All Trades. I am a much less skilled version of that.

  8. Hi Deborah!

    I am not formally published in the "picked up by a publisher" sense. That said, I might recommend this guy's books as I kind of write like him:

    Build A Bridge
    The Tengu's Cart
    The Monk's Staff
    The Polisher's Stone
    The Charcoal Maker's Kiln
    The Rabbit's Burrow
    The Farmer's Orchard
    The Art of Raising Stones
    Taking God Seriously: The Question of Obedience


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