Well, this is the escapism project after all, so I thought I might as well appear out of a swirling cloud of mist as appear out of anything else — especially something else as vague and anonymous as the uncharted reaches of the internet.
The first order of business is this: I move that our regular weekly bloggers should get virtual revolutionary-war-era dress uniforms — something richly colored, complete with gold braid and a sword and tiered cape. Not that they have to wear it, but they could have it if they want. After all, if the Escapism Project were an army, our regular bloggers would be our generals. As far as colors go… velvet purple, anyone?
The odd-jobs bloggers can get uniforms too, of course. Just not with as much gold braid, perhaps.
*looks at this blog post as it appears so far* Good grief. It takes talent to have a digression before I’ve introduced the topic, I suppose.
I had a thought this morning about writing — the kind of writing we at The Escapism Project are after. If we want stories that live, that seem so real that we can hear the characters breathing, it pays to study reality. I don’t mean this in a mundane way. After all, the best stories are by nature fantastic beings, places where the odds are desperate but the hope is tangible and alive. In reality, hope can be less obvious, and fantastic elements are pretty good at hiding.
But make no mistake, the fantastic is still here, in our own reality.
If we take the characters we read about in books — the ones you become attached to and remember forever — and compare them to the real people we know, it can feel like comparing a jewel-laden bracelet with a plain hemp anklet. (Not that I have anything against hemp, although it can be rather itchy.) “The people I know are so ordinary,” we complain to ourselves, thinking that it might be nice to hang out with werewolves or even garden gnomes, for a change.
But when was the last time we really looked at the people we knew? Are they really that ordinary? Because the funny thing about ordinary people is this: they only look ordinary as long as you think of them that way. Placed under closer scrutiny, they have a habit of turning out to be rather remarkable people.
Take someone I see every week: my kick-boxing instructor. She’s a tall, amazon-like woman who keeps her blonde hair in a very long braid. She has a lithe body with fast reflexes, possesses a sharp intuition, and she notices every detail around her. Ask her about some weird thing that’s going on with your body, and she’ll always have an idea about how to fix it. She even knows how many times she sneezes per day. (I think it was two times.)
And can you believe that it took me more than a year of working out with her to realize how incredible she is?
Look around you! You are surrounded by amazing, unbelievable people! Don’t be afraid to create fantastic characters, because the real world is full of fantastic people. Often the best way to make a character believable is to make them just slightly unrealistic.
*dons tri-cornered hat and disappears into the mist*