Oh, how I love to live in fantasyland, where truth and
reality take a back seat to my dream world, where keeping it real is walking in
the shoes of a psychopath, a Dexter-like character that sees murder and blood
as justice because he decides a particular person is evil. I find respite in
the world of make-believe where the spirits of my characters lust for payback,
vengeance, greed, and despise honesty and goodness. Truth is not an accepted
fact born from some moral treatise, something that is not a lie, something that
really takes place. Truth is something made up in my mind. That which is real
is something fake. I take perception and mold it into deception, and my walls
of deception are never torn down. In my imagination, I complicate everyone’s
beliefs and forge new paths of thinking. My aim is confusion, not pockets of
A text message lights up my cell phone: “Hey, Aunt Pat, Happy Birthday!”
My illusion dissolves.
Writing another short story, this one about a psychopath, I try to walk in his shoes, explore what avenues of thought prompt certain behaviors, and needle my way into his life space, the total opposite of mine. I empathize. I want the readers to wander in my alternate world, and hopefully enjoy it. Like Michael, I don’t want my scenes to strain credibility, and much the same as Lois, I want to maintain my character’s integrity. Similar to Carole, I want to stay true to what is important to me—keeping the psychology in the story. With this, like Hannah, I need to wrap up and surround my character in an environment that keeps him real, and to share with the readers, as Sharan noted, the real story about the world I know. I live in the minds of my characters for a while, like most of you I’m sure. That’s when I find “keeping it real” blurs. Thank goodness you all wrote such great posts. They helped me focus a bit more clearly on how I see realness in my writing, and what type of “ real” is most important to me.