I walked home from the meeting last night wondering how in hell I could stay interested in a proto draft that doesn’t hold my attention better than live events do at the moment. Not world-wide headline making events (although they occupy a lot of space), but local ones providing more than their share of conflict.
The obvious vs the not-so evident. The well-travelled, well-practiced tactics in the arts of deception. After one participant left last night, a newcomer to the group expressed dismay at the “antagonism” displayed by the more vocal members at the meeting. Consensus matters. It matters so much, members of any group will twist themselves in triple pretzels to avoid making waves or rocking the boat. Smooth operators know this and adjust their discourse accordingly. Sometimes, it happens that the smooth discourse contradicts another bit of smooth discourse expressed by the same party in other circumstances. Then what? Let it ride? Pretend you don’t notice the glaring discrepancy? What interests are at stake? Someone’s vanity? Someone’s career plans? Someone’s survival, be it physical or emotional?
Of course the piece of fiction lurking in the sidelines won’t take off unless I manage to transfer to it more of the tenseness and the fun holding so much of my attention at the local level these days. This isn’t a matter of producing more daily pages – those will happen if I hit the right spot. A spot where one or several characters take over because there’s too much at stake to allow wide-eyed dismay at how contentious things can get when conflicting agendas rear their heads through the smooth and untroubled waters of scripted pacifiers.
Funny, that: we get served with reminders we live in an Etat de droit (under rule of law) at every turn. We’re all supposed to accept the principle without ever putting it to the test. If and when we do, the effect is something like lifting a flat rock and discovering all that teems under it – and that was there, all along.
So, fictional ones: up to the challenge or not?