Monday, January 29, 2007 

Homo-Fictus vs Homo-Sapiens

Extracts from How to Write a Damn Good Novel by James N. Frey :

Fictional characters homo fictus are not, however, identical to flesh-and-blood human beings homo sapiens. One reason for this is that readers wish to read about the exceptional rather than the mundane. Readers demand that homo fictus be more handsome or ugly, ruthless or noble, vengeful or forgiving, brave or cowardly, and so on, than real people are. Homo fictus has hotter passions and colder anger; he travels more, fights more, loves more, changes more, has more sex. Lots more sex. Homofictus has more of everything. Even if he is plain, dull, and boring, he'll be more extraordinary in his plainness, dullness, and boringness than his real-life counterparts.

Real human beings are fickle, contrary, wrong-headed -- happy one minute, despairing the next, at times changing emotions as often as they take a breath. Homo fictus, on the other hand, may be complex, may be volatile, even mysterious, but he's always fathomable. When he isn't, the reader closes the book, and that's that. Another reason the two species are not identical is that, because of space limitations, homo fictus is simpler, just as life is more simple in a story than it is in the real world.

Got to finish the book for more insights. May be I will start writing more readable posts or worse. In any case I now know why I read more trashes than classic. Because despite the twists-n-turns in the plots the characters are always fathomable for intellectually challenged people like me. Definitely makes me feel better now.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007 

Just Like That Again

Day after day, love turns grey
Like the skin of a dying man.
Night after night, we pretend its all right
But I have grown older and
You have grown colder and
Nothing is very much fun any more.....

Throughout the nonchalant conversation that they were having now, he was desparately trying to avoid direct eye-contact. He knew his eyes will betray the indifference that he was trying hard to potray. The particular table they had been ushered to by the pushy waiter made his job even more difficult. The sole reason he'd chosen this particular bistro over a number of similar eateries was its location by the waterfront.

He had it all chalked out - just count the number of waves that hit the docks while she does the talking sentence-by-sentence...sometimes word-by-word. While she was telling him all about her recent vaccation, he was constantly toying with the spoon and the cup. He thought that would annoy her, but she hardly gave any attention. Defeated in the first attempt, he tried again by looking at another woman over her shoulder. This is bound to hit the bulls eye he thought.

The woman from the other table obviously didn't appreciate the appreciation from someone who's sitting with another woman. Dismissing his stare as a revealation of his poor loyality ratings, the frown on her face threw out an enormous disgust at his direction. As if about to be thrown off he immediately retracted his gaze back to their own table - just directly on his companion's face. Their eyes met for the first time throughout their present encounter.

For a second nothing happened --- she was still talking about the snows and the mountains when she just stopped in the middle of the unfinished sentence. Before he could look away she saw all he was trying to reveal. Before he could look away he saw all she was trying to hide. She sat there for a moment or two, gathered her purse and then left without uttering a single word. He continued to toy with the spoon and the cup for some more time, before calling for the cheque.

He had characterised their relationship by his indifference which had hardly received appreciation from anyone but himself. She was the one to add the coochy-coochy romance flavour to the part of life they shared together. After playing the game for long time enough, finally they came to realise that both of them were just pretending.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007 

The Last of The Atlantians

Long long time ago there used to be a continent called Atlantis that no longer appears on any of the ancient or modern geographical maps. Even in that ancient times, the Atlantians had managed to attain levels of civilization that could be considered glorious in present day terms. These accomplishments were not merely restricted to inventing the technologies to make the quality of life easier. Their knowledge quest encompassed the development of the human body as well the human mind.

Since they were way too ahead of other civilizations of their time, they thought it best to live in isolation in order to protect their superiority. For more than a thousand years of what they called the Glorious Era of Atlantian Civilization, in their isolated continent they had built magnificent marvels of architecture. They had invented methods that increased the fertility of Atlantis soil ten-folds and devised newer varieties of high yielding crops. With their granaries full, they then sought to understand the how the chemical and mechanical wonders work in unison to make the human anatomy work.

They found out that missing vital ingredients whose absence allowed the weakness in body resistance caused the ailments that cut the life-span short. Using treatments that constituted natural herbs and minerals, they were able to attain longer life-cycles than their peers across the planet. With problems of food and shelter over, they dedicated their longivity to excel in arts and letters. They wrote poetries that could solace loneliest of the souls and they sang songs that could stir cruelest of the hearts into compassion. At the peaks of their civilization the glory of Atlantis was shinning with the glory of a thousand suns.

But nothing lasts forever, not even a glory of a thousand suns. This being a story of the long-long-ago, Mother Earth at that time was constantly trying to get that perfect look by pushing things around. In her scheme of changing looks, the fate of Atlantis was to slowly submerge under the rising sea-levels.
When the Atlantians came to understand that their beloved continent would cease to exist, they tried their best to avert the unavoidable. But forces of nature proved too strong for the Atlantians. When they had build the tallest of all their buildings, they calculated that it would be only a matter of few hundred years or rather two-three Atlantian generations before they need to build even taller columns to avoid the immersion of their cities.

Since then they stopped erecting any taller cities and sought alternatives. Most of the inhabitants slowly migrated to other parts of the world where they used their knowledge to uplift human civilization. At the end when water started to engulf their cities only a handful of Atlantians were left in the entire continent who still did not give up hope. They were still spending efforts to determine the alternative to migration from their beloved landmass.

Finally the day of the doom came. Water started creeping in from all sides, cracking the high walls of the dams, breaking the tallest of columns. The last of the Atlantians gathered in their meditation hall at the highest point of the continent and mourned the devastation by meditating. Slowly they felt the water kissing their feet, playing at their waists, reaching for their busts before licking their necks. As they were taking their last breath before engulfed by the oceans, the eldest of them opened his eyes and said, "From now on the Atlantians will no longer speak but only communicate by singing".

And then he showed them the way of survival shortly before he plunged into the depths of the water. Using their power of meditation and love for Atlantis, they transformed themselves to the new marine bio-species that will be known to the world as The Dolphins.