Typing to Infinity

Discursions on the nature of writing [new: only 90% digressions!]

The Guilt-tripped sorry-I-haven’t- posted-in-so-long roundup!

Between school and writing a book [I won Nanowrimo this year. … Kind of.], I haven’t had many opportunities for posting, so I’m going to instead just tell you a few vague things I was thinking, and possibly reviews. I also bought a laptop – I’ll review it when I get it and work with it a bit [it’s a Thinkpad x100e, I got it for $180 off Lenovo’s outlet. So.] Things:

-I bought a laptop from Costco, an A6, and returned it, and bought a laptop from dell. I returned that one too. [The above laptop is hopefully the only one I’ll have – until AMD gets their ass into gear and makes some 14 inch A6’s for like $300 or something.]

-The Optimus V is amazing and I love it and it’s a great phone. But I want a different phone because of Sprint’s 3G. It’s garbage.

-Spotify. I haven’t reviewed it. I own it. There are pluses and minuses. I enjoy not buying music [besides $10 a month of course], though.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTx3G6h2xyA < This song is amazing.

http://dresdencodak.com/ < this is a webcomic site. It’s great too. I recommend ‘Hob’ as a decent starting point, though they apparently update everything once a year or so [hob’s a completed story, so that’s nice].

9/11: Why American Freedom is in decline, and what we can do to raise it

First off, this is a pseudo-response and lengthening to a DFW article that I read earlier today, as well as a response to a response to the article.

Article link:



Given the present situation, I think part of the question is whether we are willing to take certain security precautions – which will have some negative effects on our liberty: the American Idea, as you say – when the alternatives are: 1) to bow to Islamic Jihadists and become Dhimmis, thus giving up the ENTIRE American Idea; 2) to start a serious crusade against Islamic Jihadists – which will eventually mean, against all of Islam or, 3) to cut back on our domestic security precautions and get into a cycle of terrorist attack followed by some degree of military action against the perceived terrorists or their state facilitators.

That’s not to say that some of the Politically Correct aspects of our domestic security system shouldn’t be scrapped. If predominantly young Middle Eastern Muslim men are the perpetrators of terrorism, we should be politely, apologetically, but firmly profiling THEM at airline security checks rather than Caucasian grandmothers. And we need to accept that the problems of holding – and where appropriate, trying – terrorist prisoners of war may involve solutions that do not necessarily correspond with our civilian justice system, and very probably SHOULD not so correspond.

None of which is to excuse the tendency of people with hammers to look at every problem as a nail to be pounded in – of executives, legislators and bureaucrats to find the solution in more and more governmental involvement in every aspect of our lives or of military people to see military solutions to the foreign aspects of these problems. Granted, there is a need for government, and for armies, but that need should not override the American Idea, however broadly or narrowly that collection of concepts may be defined.

Luckily, I can’t just say, “Oh, this guy is stupid”. It’s much harder to change people’s minds that way. However, I can say that I believe he’s utterly wrong.

The top paragraph presents a false choice. Currently, our strategy seems to be 2. But … the idea DFW is advocating in his article isn’t that we sit idly by while people kill us: it’s that we don’t let the terrorists win, which is -exactly- what the current security measures and etc. do. The vast majority of people on airplanes aren’t terrorists, and the goal of a single terrorist is to spread terror (quite simply). How would 3 fall into a cycle of terrorist attack? Why are we still in Afghanistan and iraq? Why did we ever go into them in the first place? It’s great that we’ve brought democracy to these countries (well, kind of), but it all seems kind of pointless if we were merely invading countries to bring them democracy instead of “destroying the terrorists”. The more warlike our responses, the more warlike the terrorists will get – it’s that simple.

We aren’t Israel: we aren’t going to be fighting perpetual war with our neighbors. We’re America, and we have to stand up for what we believe in. When you start compromising on freedom, you lose the American ideal that we’ve worked so hard to achieve for the entirety of America’s existence. We can have loose security regulations without massive numbers of terrorist attacks (It happened before 9/11, to make one point). When you start trading freedom for safety, where does it end?

On the difference between gender and sex [and its misappropriation in culture]

First off: you may not care, but I like to cite my sources, so the motivation for this post is coming from two seemingly unrelated places. I am arguing [/dialectic-ing] with people about the differences between sex and gender on one forum. On the other hand, I tried to sign into Groupon today and they asked me “What is your gender: Man or Woman?”. Even with talking about this issue for hours and hours I paused at the screen, and thought: “Isn’t gender male/female?” The answer, like everything in this type of space, is complicated. (Though, when you get right down to it, it isn’t all that complicated, is it? People can’t even agree on that.)

To be blunt: gender and sex used to mean the same thing. They basically still do, but in certain circles (and, I’ll argue, they should be considered as different in every circle now that society is changing and the obvious and observed differences between sex and gender are being vocalized: but this will be gotten to later) sex and gender are seen as separate things.

How? Well, it actually is quite simple: the sex of a person is their physical sex. The gender of a person, meanwhile, is their mental sex: in other words, the sex they want to act as in society. As society has started to become less patriarchal, divisions of this kind have gotten more and more accepted by society in general. To use a stupid and overly blunt example: At first there were males and females, but males considered themselves better and stronger than females and dominated everything. To not be a male was to be different and wrong. Slowly (very slowly), women were accepted, gradually, and people realized that to be a woman was not automatically to be inferior. Even slower, people realized that to be a man and to be brutish and tough were two entirely different things. Men aren’t necessarily harbingers of death, destruction, and chaos.

(Aside: I tried to think of a third ‘d’ word, I really did. Perhaps someone will help me out in the comments.)

And, as a final step to that: since there is such a violent form of gender variance, there is additionally a form even larger. This is embodied, quite literally, by the plight of the transsexual: someone who is so distraught by the differences between their brain and body that they are forced to change their body into something resembling the body they want. (and/or, hopefully, into the body they want. Forgive me if I sound callous on this issue, please.)

As homosexuality has grown in the human consciousness from ‘not there’ to ‘generally accepted’, this has naturally shed some light on the seamy underbelly of sex and gender differences called ‘transsexuality’ and made the problem, at least theoretically, much easier to spot and diagnose. Though transsexuality, much like homosexuality, was initially considered a mental disease, in general the understanding of doctors today is that it is indeed a physical ailment, one best corrected with SRS, otherwise known as sexual reassignment surgery.

So, so far: sex and gender are entirely different, but people don’t treat it as such: they are coming around, but probably not as quickly as some would like. Why? Well, I don’t know – there is precious little anybody “knows” on this topic. However, I would like to make a few observations, from my own experience:

-That transsexuals, in general, when you can tell who they are, are disquieting (during transition, as well as sometimes after):

-That the idea of sex and gender being different is instantly acceptable but also instantly, again, disquieting. It is understandable that there can be an issue here: it is less fun to actually deal with said issue. People tend to sweep these things under the table and look at them only when necessary.

Thus, when someone looks at Groupon and they see that you pick ‘Man or Woman’ instead of ‘Male or Female’, and notice it, they think, “Huh. I wonder why?” instead of thinking “Huh. That’s potentially insulting” or “Huh. Good for them, splitting gender and sex like that!”.

Of course, this doesn’t even cover if it’s inappropriate or not to split offers based on gender: I’ll end with a short note here that if things are women-only or men-only, like an all-female spa, this is obviously a good idea: if it is to split hair products from guns, it seems much less effective overall.

In the difference between gender and sex, as is with the difference with everything, you have to look at what is really going on behind the initial claims and decide what is what for yourself.

A review of “Ritual Union” by Little Dragon.

Ritual union is a bittersweet album for me to review. The third album from Little Dragon, a band that I was originally led to from the last Gorillaz album Plastic Beach [Empire Ants is good stuff], follows their first two, which have earned heavy rotation in my playing and a general proclamation, from me to the world, that Little Dragon eats people and burns them alive in fiery music of awesome.*

*Note: This is not an accurate depiction of Little Dragon’s sound. It’s more of a languid pool with ripples over the top of it, and the ripples slowly glide and arc towards your ears. That is, when it works.

So, you think, it’s gotten good reviews, it generally seems awesome. Why would this be a bittersweet album for me to review? Well, obviously I don’t like it that much. There are a lot of good songs in it – Please Turn is probably the highlight of the album. But a CD of good songs that all sound fairly similar isn’t a great expansion of the sound. If anything, they’ve shrunk, getting more poppy and less jazzy: a great disappointment, especially with this band. There’s nothing with the impact of ‘Twice’ or ‘Constant Surprises’: just a collection of good songs, a little different from standard fare, but not different enough from that or, really, itself.

The songs I’ve selected are generally the more upbeat ones on the CD. Little Dragon’s at their best when they’re moving to their own beat, and shouting it. On this CD they’re just sitting there far too often, watching the music surround them passively. I liked both of their previous CD’s better, and their first the best: hopefully this doesn’t become a theme. Little Dragon has the potential to be great, but they’re not there yet.

Highlights: Please Turn, Shuffle a Dream, Nightlight, Ritual Union

Total score: 3.5/5

A short review of Midnight in Paris.

Just saw Midnight in Paris yesterday.

An odd combination of films, since I was leaning over my seat trying not to watch out of embarrassment for half of it [people who go to good/embarrassing movies with me know this is somewhat common].

But, at the same time, it’s actually a fairly heartfelt … movie. I think it’s a coming-of-age movie more than anything else. It won’t blow you away – but the film’s a celebration of little moments, and stupidity, and finding out that what you have is always worse than perfect, and what you want is always worth striving for, even if you can’t get it. The not-entirely-realistic aspect of the story was woven into the plot very nicely, and it was just a very nice and unassuming film, one that wears its aspirations, low as they are, on its sleeve, and makes you think, “Maybe those goals aren’t so low, after all.”

One of the things that made me feel the movie was bad: how unbelievable Paul’s giant douchebaggery was, and how obvious it was that Gil and the other, first-cast pseudo-romantic lead, had absolutely nothing in common – or at least no love, the way she kept destroying him again and again. I winced a lot.

One of the things that made me feel the movie was good: POSSIBLY MINOR SPOILERS. Near the end, the main character, Gil (played by Owen Wilson[which certainly had me scratching my head for the first 10 minutes or so]), is bringing his manuscript to Gertrude Stein. She’s read it, and comments, “I liked the story, but I don’t feel that it’s realistic at all that this woman is getting away with cheating on her fiance without him being able to tell. I mean, it’s glaringly obvious.” This is how he finds out.

That’s kind of how Midnight in Paris is: it’s flawed, but it’s so lovable and sanguine that it doesn’t matter. I never watch boring old movies anymore, and it took me a bit to get into it as a result, but I enjoyed it a lot.

4/5 stars, for those of you who need numerical scores to justify yourselves.


And yes, the movie gets much more enjoyable with the strange name-dropping contest it gets into, where it’s just trying to show you all these famous writers. And Dali! He’s Dali! … You’ll see.

There will be slight interruptions in your service.

I’m going to be over here, and over there, and dramatizing things that maybe aren’t dramatic. But maybe they are. So … either this will turn into a hive of scum and villainy(tm), or it will turn into something awesome (and weird), or nothing will happen. I don’t know. We’ll see.

A dirty story that isn’t particularly good, but I laughed.

I wrote it. It’s called ‘Baby Elephants’. Et voila:


The man was on top of the woman in a missionary position. They were both naked.

“Baby, you just have to move a little to the right and a little to the left.” said the man.

“I’m still feeling good, dear. We need to stop.” replied the woman, who had the cutest little expression of yearning and self-denial on her face.

“I suppose.” said the man, as he pulled out. “… But can’t we try it just this once more?”

“Just this once more?”

“Just this once more.” the man said, and he readied his phallic imagery to assault the less phallic hole. It was covered with a sheath – a scabbard, if you will.

The problem with scabbards is that they sometimes break. The problem with this is that it is a shoddy example of foreshadowing.

“Oh,” said the man. “Oh, oh, oh!”

“Oh,” said the woman. Then: “That’s better.”

“I’m happy you’re happy. Oh, oh.”

“You know experiencing carnal bliss is a sin!” the woman said, glancing at their in-bedroom TV set. “Besides, my soap’s on in, like, ten minutes. Oh. Could you hurry up?”

“Oh, oh, oh. Oh. ohohohohohoh. Oh.” the man said, without conviction. The woman looked down. The condom had broken into the shape of a jewish star, and some of the semen had, somehow, reached its destination.



“You should go on a diet, honey.” The couple was walking in a circle in one of the many public parks in Chicago. The woman had, indeed, gained a little bit of weight.

“What?” she said, offended. “I look just fine! I’ve been dieting! You know that!”

“Sometimes, dieting isn’t enough.”


“You look like a white elephant with that stomach.” He poked it.

“HEY!” she said again, covering her stomach with her arms. “God, I don’t know what it is, I’ve also been getting these wild mood swings. It’s weird, it’s like there’s another person controlling part of me or something.”

“Another person …” the man paused in thought for a few seconds.


“You think we should go see an exorcist?”


“Oh, god!” The woman turned to the man. They were at home: she was on the computer. More importantly, she was on WebMD trying to determine a solution for her specific problem: doctors were expensive and far away.

“What is it, dear?” he asked.

“The website says I’m pregnant!”

“Oh god!” he said. “How could this have happened? We use protection! Why would God do this to us? Why!?”

“Maybe he hates us,” she said dejectedly.

“Hold on, I’ll go get a pregnancy test. Ydxou stay right there,” he said, reassuringly. The trip to the local Walgreens was just a few minutes and back.

“I’m back,” he said, tossing his bag on the table. “I got some candy too.”

“You know, this is like the tenth time you’ve done this,” she groused. “What part of ‘diet’ don’t you understand?!”

“Obviously the core concept.”

She looked at the test. It said results could be seen in as few as five minutes, though the test would settle in over the next 40.

“Be right back.”

In five minutes she had a newly-used pregnancy test, an unlabeled one (they’d bought the generic brand to save money), and the indicator window was filled with green.

“What’s green mean?”

“Uh, the box?”

“I put it on the table!”

“Oh … THAT box.” He walked over to the garbage, and rummaged through it for a second.

“Really?” the woman said. “Really?”

“Hey, I got it, no harm no foul,” he said, flipping the box up. There was a very recent stain of pizza covering the hole. The woman peered at it. “Yeah, pregnant is orange. I’m totally not pregnant.” She touched her stomach again. “Ugh, I still feel sick though.”

“Who’s my fatty? Fatty’s little fatty? Fatty fat fattyfat?”

The next sound was that of the woman throwing up directly on the man.

“Disgusting!” he exclaimed, shaking his arms onto the ground. They’d been hit, though only tangentially. The main victim was his shirt, a beige t-shirt that exclaimed “Long live the ICP”. One of the new stains on his shirt, however, looked the same as the pregnancy test.

“Hey!” the woman said, noticing, though she was still fairly sick. “I think I AM pregnant!”

“God, all babies ever do is throw up,” the man groused. “And you’re still fat,” he added, helpfully.


They were having dinner at their favorite place: the Lean Pizza. They liked it because it was generally quiet and abandoned, and they couldn’t really tell the difference between fine dining and a correctly-microwaved packet of Chef Boyardee. She was eating a meatball when the first spasm went through her.


“What’s wrong, honey?”

“The baby …”

“Hey, you think we should get an abortion? The baby is causing you a lot of pain. Maybe it’d be best for all of us if-”

“THE BABY,” she said, more urgently.

“Is something in the food bothering you?” He noted the furious glare. “I’ll bring the car around.”



“Oh, oh, oh.”


“Honey, would you give the baby some milk or something?”

“I thought that was YOUR job! That’s why you have TITS! God damn, woman.”


“Sorry, Emily.”



“Waaaah! Waaaaah! Waaaaa …” *suckling noises*

“All right then.”


“Oh, oh.”


“Oh, oh – wait. Are you feeling too much pleasure?”

“Fuck it.”

“Hey! We’re supposed to be approaching this like mature adults!”

“God damn, I’ll try I guess. It’s hard!”

“… Yes. Yes it is.”

“I’m more clever than I thought.”

“Just stick it back in already! We’re going to take all day.”

“Oh. Oh, oh, oh.”

“Oh. Oh! Oh, oh.”

“oh, oh, oh.”

“Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh,”



“OH!” *Unison.

A few glances around, and down.



“It broke again.”

Gummi Bears

[A story.]

Look, I knew it was gonna be bad when I looked over at Al, and we were both  wearing these giant, bulbous heads, attached to these giant, bulbous bodies. We’d decided to go to Angela DeLivesmore’s latest ‘All-you-can-costume-and-fuck’ party as a set of gummy bears, green and orange, to simulate puke. Think of it as a kind of in-joke, and beyond that we could introduce both of us to girls at once, because who the hell else would come dressed as a damn gummi bear? Nobody, that’s who! At least, nobody I saw. I had nightmares, though, of arriving at the party and having everybody turn, all wearing the same costume, saying, “Hello! Aren’t we adorable?”

On the other hand, this probably shoulda been my first clue that the idea was not going to go over well with the general crowd of the party, which was a bunch of late-twenties hipster fags. If one person was doing it everybody was doing it. Or, in this case, if one person was doing it, and everybody else wasn’t, they were losers. It probably didn’t help that we were both high when I’d come up with the idea, dammit. Jeremy’d gotten us enough weed to fill three bongs, and we’d been smoking it real slow to save the stuff because beyond quantity it was also quality too, rare shit. So we were watching some kids’ network and Teletubbies had just been on when we changed the channel – god we dodged a bullet didn’t we? Shiiiit – and then the Care bears went on. But everyone knows the Care bears were gay, and Gummi Bears, well, they’re just fuckin’ delicious. You can’t fight gummy bears. I mean really. I still think they’re awesome, those hipsters just need to readjust, man, you know?

So but anyways. You don’t want to know about any of this shit, you’re asking me why I need you to pick me up. Well like when we got to the party there was all this shit going down! Man it was crazy. Alphonse – yeah, THAT Alphonse – dude, he was so jacked … like Jack, yeah, drinking 40’s and shit. Look, you know how it is with him, sometimes you can’t control it, so we were trying this ‘introduce both of us at once’ plan, which was really a fail because it just seemed like the girls were actively avoiding us because of the gummi bear suits – they said we were lovers and shit, was just weird – when Alphonse comes and kind of saved the day for us by immediately becoming the number one with a bullet asshole of the party, because he got really drunk and tried to make out with Betty Castiato. Yeah, THAT Betty, she’s only a month or two pregnant, she was pounding that wine like water though. Said it wouldn’t affect the baby -that- much and it’s her life, you know? Yeah. Yeah, man, no, sometimes people can be pretty fucked up.

But anyways, he’s trying to hook up with her and she’s saying no. Alphonse is dressed up as a bullfighter all glamorous-like, and Betty’s like one of those guys who doesn’t like technology, I don’t remember the name now. But she was not having it. So he starts to get all handsy, touching her boobs and shit, and I guess one of the girls there went out and got Max, and then when he got back and saw Alphonse the whole place just exploded. He was angry – I mean, I’d be angry too if a guy was trying to feel up my girlfriend, for sure, but he was saying stuff like “I’m going to kill that guy” and it looked like he was actually going to do it, so I went over to stop him, and he tried to fight through me but he punched the costume and this stuff is, like, gummi synthase? Yeah, it’s new space-age shit, man, but like he punched it and it just kind of ate his punch. It was like in the Simpsons where that guy tries to punch Homer but he gets his fist stuck! Yeah, but I wasn’t hitting him back, and Alphonse by this time had kind of gotten the message and started to back pretty far away, but, like, the crowd was furious!

No, I swear, nothing else happened that would make them – oh, right, that. What? Nothing! Fine, man, but I’m only telling you this in private, man, don’t spread this around. But after he punched me I kind of started laughing at him, and he tried to punch me again, and both of his arms got stuck in me, and then he tried to kick at me and, well, short story is that he was stuck in my costume. So I kind of brushed him off by beating him against a wall. And people see that happening to a guy who legitimately was just trying to protect his girlfriend, they assume things, right? And they were all wearing preppy shirts and shit … man, it was sick. I can’t go to another one of those things but that guy Al is gonna drag me into it next time anyways, I swear, sometimes I don’t even know why I smoke it gets me into all this shit …

Yeah, yeah, I’m still here, just yelling at myself about my fucking life choices, what do you think, I went to a party in a gummi bear suit, how well do you think I am?! Anyways, yeah, this guy’s lackeys chased me out of the party. And Al too, I mean, I think they picked up we were buds, we were wearing matching outfits and shit. So we basically got kicked out with flaming torches following us and we -really- need a ride and dude I know I’ve asked you for this favor like 50 times but I don’t ask you for it as much late at night when you’re not at the party, and you know I wouldn’t ask you if I had any other way of getting out of this. Be a bro, man! Come on! … You even listening to me anymore? ‘Can’t get out there’? What the fuck?!? You’re killing me, man, you’re –

Another story!

I don’t update this enough. Anyways, here’s ‘The Abuse of Force’, a short story takeoff of William Carlos Wheelbarrow’s ‘The Use of Force’. It’s flawed, I still like it, so screw that.


I remember when I was five years old playing on the swing and I was with my friend Gloria when we were both the same age before she went away forever. I remember talking with Dawn a few days before I came here and went away forever too. Gloria was such a great friend. We would play house and tie each other’s hair and one of us had a Barbie(TM). It was my Barbie(TM) but I gave it to Gloria and my parents thought it was “adorable” whatever that means and they cried when I said Gloria needed toys to keep with her. I didn’t understand them. Toys are fun! Of course Gloria needed toys, and she was really sad and tired so she needed really good toys. I remember the last time I saw her and her eyes were red. She was in bed and the doctor was next to her. The doctor was real real nervous. The doctor had a white lab coat. His hands were crossed behind his back like the boys in Sunday school or the people who sing during the service, like, “Glory, glory, Hallelujah!”. She couldn’t cough or the doctor told her not to talk or something. I just came by to say hi. I gave her the Barbie and told her I would see her soon and smiled and she was asleep so she didn’t say anything but I know she would have. Later there were a lot of sad people in a park with big rocks, and they lowered something into the ground, but nobody would tell me what it was. I hope she is still playing with the Barbie. It was a good Barbie, with all the upgrades, and the car. I liked that Barbie. My parents promised me they would buy me a new one and they never remembered. I didn’t want to remind them of anything.

Anyways the way Dawn was coughing reminded me of that before and I told her and she looked at the ground. It was an unhappy memory for her I think. But Gloria was in a better place I thought, so there wasn’t a problem. I don’t know why people are always so sad when people go to heaven but they are. So Dawn looked at me still coughing and said “don’t talk about that!” and covered her mouth. It only took me a couple days to understand why. Why she covered her mouth, I mean. I think she gave it to me but I don’t know. I could feel it though in my throat. I stopped talking. People would know. I didn’t want my parents to be sad again even though they thought I was sick just because I was shivering and I seemed like I didn’t feel good but I wanted to be fine so I said I was fine and then I closed my mouth. And when the doctor came I still closed my mouth. And the doctor was not happy, he complained. I was on my dad’s lap and he was very protective, which was nice. They thought something was wrong, they knew, maybe. I tried to be strong and not move. My dad told him about how I had a fever even though I’d tried to hide it. I didn’t say anything. My mouth was closed so tight and that horrible doctor grabbed at it but I kept it so tight. He tried to get a spoon in to check for the thing and I struggled and struggled but I couldn’t stop him. And he got a spoon into my mouth but I bit it off, even though it hurt, it cut into my mouth, I was crying from the pain and my mommy and daddy wouldn’t stop him!, and he got it open, and saw, and he told them, and they were sad, just like I was afraid of, and when I smiled and told them about heaven they burst into tears and crossed themselves even though it would be OK, really, and later I was on a bed just like Gloria’s, and Dawn came, not sick anymore, and she smiled, and she told me that maybe she could understand, and she gave me a flower. I couldn’t talk but I kept that flower. I kept that flower good.

The difference between writing, roleplay, and reading: active participation in media

In general, these three subjects – reading, writing, and roleplaying – are seen in different lights. Roleplaying is generally regarded to be exceptionally different. By contrast, reading and writing are perfectly all right. When you read, you suck in information somebody else wrote. When you write, you expel information entirely from yourself. Roleplay is some kind of weird mix of the two and, as such, is hard to define. However, I’m going to try: this post is a short [and possibly misguided] attempt to defend the idea of “roleplaying”.

When you write something, it comes entirely from you. This makes it hard to pretend that you have no control over something – you do. You have all the control anyone could ever ask for over your creation: you can kill and create characters and locations with waves of your fingers. As a writer, if you want a plot and a evil person who is believable, you need to create them … and most writers create their characters out of themselves. It’s fun at points, but it isn’t entirely freeing.

Meanwhile, when reading, you’re reading something somebody else created. While this is interesting and lets you  have a window into the world the writer wrote, it doesn’t let you control the world with your own thoughts. It isn’t impacted by your choices – you’re just a passenger in the story.

However, the third option – writing your part of the story and then having other people write their characters – partially solves both problems. You get direct participation within the story, and since other people are writing their characters you don’t have absolute control. You can just write your ‘role’, and enjoy your part of the story, reading the others’ parts with interest. It allows the writer to enjoy pretending to be one part of a story, without having to write the whole story. In short, it gives your character autonomy from your intentions.

Obviously none of this is perfect. This third option, roleplay, suffers from a lot of potential pitfalls – the writing skill of the people you’re writing with, your own writing skill, the issue of time limitations and impatience. Writing a book is useful if you want to express a singular, coherent story, so a book is better for learning and for repeated reading. And reading is better if you want to learn something from somebody else, as, again, it isn’t as fractured.

But for a style of writing that is so in the moment – a feature, by the way, which makes it very congruent to our current society – there are lessons you can learn, and story arcs you can follow, even through it. And it leaves you free to choose a path – something you can’t do in the others. And though your path is restricted, it is restricted by life: you only have as much choice as anyone living would [with the same abilities as whoever you’re playing]. It’s an incredibly freeing feeling to me: like playing a game without graphics, just with the thoughts.

And those thoughts are the only things that matter.


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