clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Eccentricity of M. Reason


We call the following syllogism "Betty." It's a deductive pattern that indicates a possibly truthful relationship. In other words, it does not disprove a truth.


There are times when we craft stories that have a crystal clarity between cause and effect. We treat these relationships as syllogisms.

I've read three pieces over this past week where the author has gone to great lengths to make clear that the protagonist did A because of B. This derivation in the language of Q { advanced symbolic logic} occurs mostly in back story.

I argue that characters being human do not follow this pattern.

I'll illustrate. Your protagonist may be portrayed with a wandering eye. You reveal in some back story that he's had marital problems and because of that he now only looks. Really?

Will that character be more interesting if he has conquered his impulsive trend towards liaison or if he is a serial adulterer racked by the rational knowledge that the risks he takes threaten to drown him in the ruin of divorce?

As the author, you know.  Characters who are conflicted are interesting characters. Characters that are past the point of resolution of their fallacies are not.

We reflect in our characters the traits of people we've seen and most of the interesting ones behave in an irrational sense. Why do they act that way ? We have no idea. We do remember them, though. We remember them.

P = Q and P != Q at the same time. This relationship is exciting. This relationship between actions is interesting. This I want to read more about.

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