Not more than half an hour ago, I was sitting at my local Borders, delving into On the Road by Jack Kerouac (a book that has been circling my attention for years now), when I suddenly struck upon an unusual but intriguing chain of thoughts. It went something like this:
Authors get mistaken for their characters or writing personas all the time. Everyone thinks Hunter S. Thompson is Raoul Duke, or Kerouac is Sal Paradise. Will they say the same about me? Will I be mistaken for the sharp-witted Edward McMullen or the daring Agent Alpha?
I can move through walls, jumping from scene to scene, locale to locale, without the least bit of resistance. I can hear the thoughts of anyone and everyone, from unsuspecting pedestrians in Manhattan to a terrorist plotting his attack. I don‘t really know what happens next, but I can see everything all at once, so it‘s safe to say I’m at least one step ahead of my own characters.
Yessir, that‘s me, the teleporting telepath! I’m the guy crouched with you, Agent Delta, in the shadows as you prepare to strike. I’m the guy running with the commandos as they storm another office building. I’m the guy who can hear the thoughts of a man plotting treason right as he‘s standing with his unsuspecting allies, feeling his dread when he‘s supposedly calm. But none of them can feel me. I am only the Author, the invisible and unknowable chronicler of all their adventures.
I felt it worthwhile to share this insight with you, the audience, because it might be a good tact for authors to take. Yes, there is planning in what we create, and a lot of who we are is reflected in what and how we write. But given the lives some of these characters read, it isn’t like we’re puppeteers pulling the strings, but invisible observers hounding their every move, ensuring that some record of their actions in a parallel universe remains.
This is the Scriptorium, signing off!