The ability to speak freely without fear of reprisals is impossible to achieve. Some bugger’s always going to be annoyed, no matter what you say. There are just too many people about with too many different points of view for us to be able to say everything that is on our minds.
Take an innocuous statement like ‘I am feeling horny today’. I mean – this is perhaps one of the most basic of feelings and is likely to occur in the minds of a high percentage of the adult population quite frequently. It is also not illegal to say this (as far as I am aware), but how free would you feel to announce this to anyone but your very closest friends?
Even if you live out in the boondocks, and you don’t say nuffink to nobody, you’re still not free from reprisals. Whether ‘talking to yourself’ in the privacy of your own head really involves speech or not is immaterial, it’s clear that the things you say to yourself can dictate whether you survive or not.
For example – getting your arm caught under a rock after a landslide can lead you to either say “That’s okay, I can just cut it off and cauterise the stump”, or “OMG, that’s it, I’m totally going to die out here!” In either case, you cause your own reprisals in terms of what will happen next.
Fiction writers thrive on the fact that there are reprisals for everything. Everything that’s interesting about popular novels is built around the premise that someone wants to do or say something, but there will be reprisals. Whether those reprisals will make or break that person is basis of all the tension and release of tension that follows.
Here are a few ways that you can use reprisals in your writing:
- Look for them and write about them.
- Make sure that you spot all of them and write about them.
- Stop reading this now and look for stuff and write about it.
- Realise that if you want to write you need to stop reading, get out there and observe stuff, and then write about it.
- Really – stop right now and write something, dude!
- C’mon, look – follow my example. What am I doing now? Yep – writing!
Seriously? You’re still here?! Well at least post a Comment then – that’d be a start to your illustrious writing career!
Yeah, yeah, yeah – I’m totally pulling your chain – I love you madly. Now get out there and write already! (smiling)