Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Honesty In Writing

I'm considering taking some time off from poker (not long, maybe a month or so) and picking up writing again, which really is my first love.

I'm really struggling with the concept of honesty in narrative.  I find the work of guys like Chuck Palahniuk  or Chad Kutlgen really engaging because so much of the writing space is devoted to what's *really* on the mind of the main characters.  For a guy like me who comes from a fairly sterile upbringing in a fairly sterile city, this is a pretty tough decision.

I come from a background where everyone pretty much filters out the most personal part of themselves - children won't tell their teachers when they disagree, husbands won't share their true sexual thoughts with their wives, longtime friends won't admit their insecurities.  There's a very high level of perceiving what is appropriate and then filtering your thoughts so that no one is shocked or offended.

Even my wife - who by any definition is quite liberal with her thoughts and emotions - was disgusted and offended while reading The Average American Male, which, while a crass novel to be certain, isn't really an unfair picture of the thoughts of many guys in their early 20s.

I'm paraphrasing here because I don't have the book handy but the dedication in The Average American Male reads something like "To my mom and dad.  I am sorry I've written a book you will not want to read."

I'd say that sums it up - I'm fairly certain that writing with any degree of genuine honesty about the thoughts of my characters that they will either end up as shallow robots (as I will have filtered out their darker thoughts) or I will end up alienating people with my writing - people I genuinely respect and admire.

I'm not really sure where to proceed from here. Is it even possible to tread some delicate middle ground?  I don't know.  Even if it is possible... would I really want to?

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