I remember reading something a while back, something that had to do with arguing. It is true that with some people, it doesn’t matter how well researched and put together your points are, because they will ignore your point of view and keep pushing their stuff at you over and over, whether it’s the topic at hand or not. When reading about this, there was a quote offered that pretty much summed up the futility one might face trying to deal with someone who isn’t listening, but rather keeps on talking. The quote was something like, “Don’t take my sudden silence as proof you’ve won. It only means I can no longer take your bullshit.”
I ran into something similar to that yesterday, when a point I was trying to make was met by a lot of hoary old talking point that had little to do with what I was trying to say. After the second time the same points came back at me I gave up the ghost on the argument–which didn’t address anything I was saying–because at some point you realize that no matter what you say, it’s gonna come back to rehearing something that could have been taken from a paragraph found in one of the fifty page admonishments of John Galt.
Strangely, I was thinking of this when I was working on Chapter Sixteen of Suggestive Amusements last night. My characters were using talking point on each other as they walked through the Valley of Fire, but the discussion between them was as such: Elektra, one of my female characters, was telling her erstwhile boyfriend, Keith, my main male characters, that his in-world logic was bullshit.
Early on in the story it’s established that Keith is a long-time resident of Las Vegas, while Elektra comes from “Scorpionville, New Mexico”, and she couldn’t wait to get out of there. Keith has decided that he’ll leave Las Vegas one day, after he’s made it “big” as a writer. Along comes Elektra, who has used a bit of her wanderlust to move west, young girl, and she tells Keith that his mindset is holding him back, that he’ll never be a “big time writer” because he’s stuck in Las Vegas, and maybe he needs to get the hell out of Lost Wages and gather a fresh perspective on life if he wants his stories to soar.
I know this feeling, because I’ve been there myself. I’ve said a number of times in the last five years that I need to get out of my little corner of Indiana. At one time I said I’d cut and run the moment I hit it big, but that was like twenty years ago, and I’m still here. I still want to leave one day, but I wonder if it will really happen . . .
Because most of last year I was working in another city for the first time, and I didn’t handle it well. There could have been a number of reasons for that, but had it not been for my writing, I might not have made it out . . . in one piece is the best way to describe the situation.
Was I writing about the plight of a fictional character? Or was I putting too much of myself there?
If so the later, what should I do about it?
I do love the desert, after all.