This post is the fourth of five chapters in my not-hiatus series. Basically, I’ve fed the first few lines of some Casters’ Court chapters into an AI network to see what it comes up with. In this alternate-universe version of chapter four, Plex explains how great of an author she is, and how writing should explain life.
I realize that I’ve fallen asleep around the third time my phone buzzes against my hip bone.
Half of me wants to sit up quickly, spurred into a mode of panic, but the other half manages to wrestle the former into submission. I’m too comfortable to ruin this. Too comfortable, even to reach for my—
My phone vibrates again, and I breathe a resigned sigh. It must be urgent, then. Moving as few muscles as possible, I reach into my pocket and extract the infernal device. No, I suppose on some level, I’m actually grateful for the interruption. I still have about thirty pages of Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises to read before 9 am tomorrow, so napping isn’t exactly an option. A few weeks ago I’d slept through another book-length reading session in an attempt to prepare myself for the day that would happen next. It certainly doesn’t help that I’m working in a crowded corporate office, the office where the book was published, and I’m in the midst of my own intense reading regimen—I’m at the stage where I don’t really understand my own reading experience, or rather, I just don’t have any.
Even if he’d made an exact quote, what would the reader of the story’s final half-hour read it like? And what of this other world that I know of, the world that I’ve come to know—the world we call home? And to me, the question is almost self-evident. For I am a writer. That’s what I write. I write a book that’s written, that I read, by a professional writer. What other books write to their audience are they not just making them think for their entire reading and experience?
We’ve all read at least once an episode of TV. The show I was working on for the last few months was one that didn’t actually use an ending until episode five. And it was an epic. And that’s true. But I’ve been thinking, reading, and discussing that episode, a series of thoughts that have grown and changed, with a result that’s much better. The point here, to my point, is that these same themes can be made into a much longer book, or show, or movie. I don’t think they can’t if they’re not written well. And I’m glad I was able to do that.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that the books I’ve been writing are so much different from the books that most of us read every day. In a sense, that’s true—just how much you see that a book does or doesn’t tell us about how we should know ourselves and the world around us depends on how you study it. Reading novels is usually the last place one goes to study those things, unless one is truly devoted and has a lot of time to devote to it. You’ve likely experienced that, so I don’t fault you for that.
You’re right that when I was a student you had to sit and read for hours on end—no matter what title or medium was in use. You’re correct that some forms of expression can be both passive and active but there is no such thing as passive or active literature. The active art of the imagination is, in every writer, that which is not active in the writing it’s used in a way that makes a reader wonder and ask questions. It’s how you make us wonder and ask questions about things we don’t know.
Who wrote it better? Discuss by commenting!