A writer is, after all, a lurid voyeur


     There is a sleepy hamlet several miles across the valley from my mountain lair.  This morning as I sipped my coffee in the first few minutes of daylight, I thought what wondrous stories must lie in those simple cottages and tiny abodes.  A tourist to these mountains might stand in awe at the innocent beauty of that distant community with its churches, backyards, and quaint porches, but I am a writer, and I see those opaque real life images as fodder for my next story.

     Much of life is admittedly mundane with scarce moments of real drama, humor, terror, evil and pain, yet it is these ignoble human instincts that drive fiction.  Somewhere in that congregation of modest dwellings there is a child crying, hungry for breakfast not yet served by an inattentive parent, a spouse deep in the degradation and self-loathing of infidelity, a couple enrapt in the passion of their new marriage ignorant of what lies ahead in the near future, another couple in utter desperation for the lack of financial stability, one woman hagridden with illogical hatred, and a hapless man bedeviled with impossible lust.  But what makes me smile with anticipation is that within each of these malefic scenarios there are also those succulent yet purely human subtleties of maleficence, self-deceit, murderous urges, ironic twists, plots of sweet revenge, spiritual absolution, and apocalyptic revelation.  What moral should I weave into the decrepit life of my next prosaic protagonist?  For what good is a story that doesn’t teach something useful?  What would you learn?

    Across the valley, amid the worker ants scurrying off to their appointed labors, amid the queen ants tending to their nest, amid the nits learning their place within the colony, there lies a thousand stories waiting to be told.  A writer is, after all, a lurid voyeur, obsessed with studying you, your conversations, motives, emotions, interactions and idiosyncrasies.  I am watching you.

     You, my reader, my friend, my colleague, I count each of you as yet another distant villager, and you, or at least a part of you, are destined to be my next character.  Beware and cherish what you have, because I can assure you that the life you live is far less exciting and perilous than the life I have planned for you.

     Yes, there is a picturesque village across the valley from my home pitched high on this mountain, and I am watching…

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About David Kent

I promote and encourage the advancement and education of writers everywhere. I dream of a society that once again incorporated literature into the acculturation of their children, replacing the empty calories of 22 minute sitcoms and mindless reality TV. But first we write, then prod them to read, and finally hope for the best. Read more at http://writerinthemountains.blogspot.com/

3 thoughts on “A writer is, after all, a lurid voyeur

    • Harold, I would be more than happy to peruse your work with the understanding that I am an academician and editor and my critiques will be tempered not with fluff, but with recognition of both your strengths and weaknesses as I would with any client or student.

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