Yesterday and today were challenging writing days. The words were coming fine. I just needed to grasp exactly what I was portraying. Therein resides the challenge. It's abstract and complex. At issue, how to present the co-existence of realites and how I depict them against people's inner landscapes.
So this is one of those snapshot moments of writing to help me clarify what I understand and don't understand, useful for me when evolving the abstractions I see and finding the words to represent them without drowning people in exposition.
It reminds me of a conversation I shared with my beer buddies the other night. We were discussing beer bubbles - the foam - and trying to recall if they were twelve sided. People tend to think of bubbles as having one shape and perceive them as such but the physics of bubbles are fascinating, affecting how the light is refracted and our perceptions of the beverage. The bubbles and their production can be manipulated to shift perceptions. (See how beer can move creativity forward?)
This dichotomy of comprehending matter on different levels addresses the novel's essence. Most people believe that what's perceived is always truth or reality. That isn't the case and some of us (in the novel) do a better job of it than others. What I need to explain and how I explain it has come to me as I typed because the typing forced my focus. Realities (as I'm presenting them in this instance) are likened to bodies of water. This is Mannell's perceptions of it - every individual 'realist' developes their own method for interpreting how energies flow and interact but this part is being told from his point of view. Important to remember that. So while realities are bodies of water which can be manipulated and controlled, some of thse bodies are fiery fluids, more like molten lava.
Individuals are drops of water (again, this is Mannell's view, but this is not shared as universal) that make up those bodies. When examining a body, you find the world that is the individual (the inner world of 'knowing and truths', as Stiltman puts it, that's the kernal around which reality is built from individual points of view). (And within this sense, think of how molecules of water interact with each other.) Within those worlds are the landscapes of ourselves, the landscapes from which spring our dreams and the central place that we create and maintain as the edifice of self. Those edifice of self reflect self-image - confidence, sense of self-awareness, and power - and all the opposites of these positive attributes. From it is projected the image of being that others perceive as part of the overall pool of reality - again, just from Mannell's point of view. Stiltman is a realist with more limited skills and less strengths. While he can lift himself enough out of the melee to see it from a larger perspective, he perceives realities on a more granular level and is forced to work through and with others' perceptions or with the help of outside forces. He can't truly manage reality on Mannell's scale.
It comes to me as verification/validation that Mannell's ability to endure and perceive fire as something other than 'an element' was what allowed him to evolve and become the realist that he is.
(Yes, I know that some will argue that I'm presenting a flawed concept of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, quantum physics and the oberver's role. Their's would be a flawed albeit true argument because they're only see a slice of what's being presented in my fiction. Besides, this is a mashup, not science, and it's fiction, not science, and it's fantasy, not science.)
Okay, got it. It's all clear now. It's funny but this is one brief scene, a setup on a page for a few more pages of action to move the story toward conclusion, but I feel the details of how this is presented is important to the novel's integrity. This explanation will probably end up distilled through three or four paragraphs of the character's experience as they attempt to resolve the situation (which, naturally, involves time travel - did I say that this is a science fiction fantasy mashup?)
Now that I've sorted that, I'm ready to write like crazy.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com