On being a writer...

A celebration of the writing process, of being a writer, of all the weird things that pass through a writing brain...

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Living in a logical world

Are all writers - that is, all writers of fiction, impossibly illogical? Just wondering. I ask, because I realise I have barely a logical bone in my body, and I'd like to think that it's something to do with my method of writing fiction - which is more or less to create a landscape, let characters loose upon it, and see what happens. Logic would hinder this function somewhat. The question I have to ask is not: What logically would happen next? But: How, in an unpredictable world, would these people behave now?
I realise that the material world for me is one of extraordinary hazard. For instance, when I follow a route on a particular journey, I have no real conviction that the map will truthfully reflect the road layout, or that the roads, as I remembered them, won't have shifted, so that I take a wrong turn, not from a mistake, but because the road has actually changed. Statistics, recipes, instructions are of little comfort. I can't be sure that some strange quirk won't push the expected conclusion out of reach. Of course some logical things are really not to be trusted, like railway timetables, but life would be a little simpler if unpredictability was confined to the subjects that really are, and of course, to the creation of fiction.

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