Friday, 27 July 2007

Epilogue - Part One

"By law of periodical repetition, everything which has happened once must happen again and again -- and not capriciously, but at regular periods, and each thing in its own period, not another's and each obeying its own law."
Mark Twain

It would seem as if I have finished the first draft of my novel. I have been working on it intermittently for about 4 years. Just before starting work on "The Meening of Life or Dave Didnt Sleep Well" ,I had received the first hard copies of a new non-fiction title I had completed, and was quite elated to be holding my first published books in hand.

They were generally well received and I have just completed a second edition of this title. However, the point is that while working on this non-fiction title I realised that I had a story that I wanted to tell. A very personal tale about my struggle with heroin addiction. Getting my non-fiction writing published gave me confidence as people seemed to like my style and it was just the thing I needed to kick start the novel writing process.

I had copious notes and diaries with ideas I had been working on and I decided to compile them on the computer and finally get down to writing a novel. So off I went thinking it was going to be so easy........Two years later I had published another non-fiction title as well as writing articles for a range of publications. However, the novel was still a work in progress.

Another couple of years slipped by and I was progressing but at very slow rate. It was emotionally draining digging into my past to recall all the shit I went through and stupid things I did, and I found in the process I came to a number of points in the story where emotions overwhelmed me and I had to cease writing.

But I persevered and now feel like the first draft is completed. Originally it was just going to be a story about the drugs but then I realised that there was more to this drug caper than meets the eye. Everyone can see what drugs do to people, they can see how they act, how they look and how they sound, but you cant see how they think. You don't really know what got them to that point. Just like everyone else they were once an innocent child, what happened to bring them to this. It also got me thinking about the nature of reality, life after death and yes that great old cliche, "what's the meaning of life?"

So I took my real if experiences and mixed them with my musings about reality and the meaning of life. To ensure success I have heard the often quoted rule, "write what you know" and in this case I did just that. Like many authors before me Orwell, Greene, Hemmingway, Vonnegut, Bukowski and many others I would use my life experience as the basis for this my first novel. Sure names were changed, locations altered, people deleted and experiences exaggerated but the essence of what I experienced is the basis for this work.

I have always been an avid gamer, starting way back in the dark ages of computing with the clunky Atari 2600, proceeding on to the sleek Spectrum 48k, and bounding forward with the great machine that was the Commodore 64. Still love my games today and regularly find myself respawning in the deserts of Iraq in Battlefield 2. Since my teens I have always been fascinated with different religions with their varied explanations for creation and their diverse sytems of dogma. So in this story I thought I might combine two of my passions and employ them as tools to tell my story.

While I love my games today I am certain that the games of the not too distant future will be of the totally immersive style (as discussed in Chap 7 Dreams - This is a game Planet). So I thought why not mix the concept of RPG gaming with the concept of life on earth, because they have a lot in common. When you are born you are a stranger in a strange land, and spend many years learning how to use your skills and navigate through this place. When you enter an RPG game you spend some time learning the interface and overtime become more proficient, and begin to acquire the knowledge, skills and networks to advance in this world.

The gaming system that I describe in my novel can mimic any environment or situation and hence this offers infinite possibilities, but it also presents us with a few conundrums. What is more real the experiences in this rendered world or those in your 'real' life? Do allow you 'real' body to become emaciated and completely addicted to gaming, while you experience bliss and triumph in cyber space?

We all crave experiences that are not readily available to us but with this technology we will potentially be able to have any experience we desire.

Why do some junkies die and why do some get clean and survive or even prosper? Well I guess everyone may have a different story or a different reason or excuse or situation, but there are commonalities.

Anyway I will continue to work on refining the content. I sent a draft of my novel to a publisher and they said ,"Chapter 24 is the greatest example of your writing....", which at first sounded good and then I remembered that there were only two words in this progress. Also the content in chapter 41 needs some further elaboration to enable this concept to be fully conceptualised, and yes the whole bloody thing has holes in it, I know and it is driving me nucking futs..................oh the humanity!!!!!!!!!!!

Also I am very aware that there are a number of continuity issues that need to be addressed, a line edit needs to be done, parts of the story need work...........So I am not really finished at all, just a like a mirage as I get closer to the end of this book it seems to slip from my grasp.

But just one more thing, are we in a game now................................................Ok so what if we are or not, I mean what difference does it make.........................................or does it?

(All material copyright © 2007 GR Klein)

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