samuel x. brase likes to write

Time to Write

Posted in novel planning, second novel by Sam X. on 1 July 2010

The problem is that media and media sources–BBC CNN Fox MSNBC NPR Al Jazeera Politico–television newspaper blogs websites videos radio–have decentered the political discourse by exposing parallel and contradictory points seemingly at random, creating incoherent white noise.

This isn’t a bad thing. Being decentered requires a new focus on the dialogue, an attempt to become recentered.

The fragmentation of the discourse hopefully proves that there is no single narrative of the world. We are always functioning above a precipice, and any one misstep could plunge us into the chasm of a third world war.

Instead, there are multiple conversations occurring within the world discourse, being framed by the hegemonic powers like the United States, Russia, and China, and then being reframed by the states vying for importance and relevance, like Israel, Pakistan, and Kyrgyzstan.

My second novel aims to recreate this decentering. First writ large, as the character moves through an attempted revolution. The dialogue surrounding the revolution is perpetually changing, as the government first ridicules and then condemns it; as the revolution first demands change and then insists on being that change; as more people come to the cause and change it from sporadic, targeted violence to all out mayhem; and as the main character uncovers the driving factors behind the revolution.

But this isn’t enough. A handful of dichotomies would be enough for a smart protagonist to sort out in a novel. To take it a step further, the environment is also in flux. Every action sequence will be a fantastical journey through warped scenes, no wall or passageway staying in place or remaining whole.

Our main protagonist also undergoes personal decentering. By having the last few years of his memory wiped, he’s unsure of what’s true about himself. He can’t figure out which side of the revolution he stood before he lost his memory, and he can’t figure out which woman he had committed to (Theresa or Racine) before he lost his memory. There is compelling evidence for all options.

The deciding factors are the experiences he undergoes within the story. The decentering requires a new focus on the dialogue, and stripped of distractions, he can apply that focus. Through his experiences, he comes to a new decision. Not one borne of his old hang ups, but one borne of the current situation and circumstances.

Consider this the mission statement for my second novel. It’s a love letter to confused modernity, to embracing the disjointed dialogue. It’s a manual to guide you through a rapidly approaching future where technology informs and separates, divides and conquers. It’s about living with the world we’ve created, and making the most of your time here.

So, you know, it gets a little cheesy at the end.

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