8/22/07 Fruit People
Fruit on the picture on the table, they roll off, onto the ground and splat,
5/15/13 Fruit People
Once, a still life painting of fruit stirred. I sat, and still sit, watching what happened when the food fell to the floor. Splat. Out of the remnants of the broken fruit emerged little people. Some were red, some were yellow, some green, red-green, and and others were purple. These fruit people saw that they were different, and they began to fight. It began with squishy fists, none doing any real harm.
Some of the fruit people began to speak with one another over the fighting, while fighting. Insults came first. Words fueled rage, and the stems of apples became spears and clubs. Some (few) talked about why they were fighting, and in time realized that mere difference is not a sufficient cause for battle. They stopped fighting, and attempted to convince the other fruit people to join them in peace. They were slaughtered, and the violence persisted. The words those few spoke did, however, sow seeds of doubt among the more impressionable. In time those seeds sprouted, and the idea penetrated the fighting once more. Again, the soft speakers were put down, but more seeds were sown, and a cycle was established.
I still wait for the day when the fighting grows too immense and all are destroyed. I wait for the chaotic quiet to follow this artful carnage. I wait for the stillness to return, but not in life. I also wait for the soft speakers' message to be truly heard. I wait for the fruit people to find a lasting peace, for if that happens, I might have to smoosh them and clean up the mess.
The denial of the expected is something I've been interested in for a while. There's something that pleases me about thinking something is going to happen one way, and it happening a completely different way. Obviously I'm not happy when I expect my toilet to flush, and then it doesn't, but throughout narratives and in entertainment this sort of jab at the audience is a lot of fun, even when I'm the audience getting jabbed at. It's apparently a fine line to walk when writing the sudden twist, though.
According to some study people like knowing about the twist beforehand. People like spoilers? I'm not quite sure this sits well with me, seeing as I've been planning on including surprises in my fiction. If they want to know what's going to happen ahead of time, should I be including the end in the beginning? It's not unheard of, I know, but I always thought the mystery was a large part of what drove readers to read. Sure, you can say that there's still mystery in how they get there, and yeah, that's valid (and important), but it's not the same kind of mystery.
There's a theory that people read because they want an ordered world. They want to be able to predict what happens, and predictable fiction provides that safe environment. The safe environment allows them to pay closer attention to the details of the story. That gives credit to the idea of spoilers being a positive thing. I would argue with the theory, saying that it's dumb, but I can't. Fiction that follows this line of thought is popular. It works. It's dumb, but as a writer I've got to respect its effectiveness.