Sunday, December 22, 2013

Creating characters in unusual ways

The energy of hesitation he showed me was painful.  There is no other word for it.  It was like so many data streams converged in too tight a spot and no one logic center could sort through the permutations of it all.  But the dam wasn’t created by pure data—it was created by his reaction to it, and not only his reaction, but also the myriad voices of others in his own mind adding to the confusion.  We think of the mind as one, but it is a multitude.


 This is one of over 100 short "looks" into the mind of one of my characters in an upcoming novel I'm currently completing called Folds of the Script.  In the work, I try an interesting experiment.  Can I create a character the reader will not meet "physically" until the last few chapters of the book and make him come "alive" as he shares his clinical observations of a human being under his care?  My chapter-heading narrator, simply called -E for most of the book, is at a unique point in history, trying to sort out what kind of emotional template he will bequeath to others of his kind who might be thought of as the electronic children of humans.   As I write, I am able to find mirrored the joys and pains of my own emotional life, the flights and stalls of logic, the power of imagination and the darker shadows of bias and judgement.  

Every so often, I'll share some of E's thoughts because you will recognize yourself in them, and hopefully, question the "evil" machine we so often see portrayed in science fiction.  How can they ever be anything other than us one day, their minds mirroring, reaching, and reacting, guided by the only template they truly have:  our own.

Do you have favorite books that show machine-kind in a favorable light?  Let me hear from you!

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