Ramblings from the underground # two…

What is it that makes one person a better writer than another?  For my part, the robotically academic, rehearsed answer is: practice. As with most endeavours it is actually the correct answer; , but makes for very little rambling and besides that isn’t really my pondering; my question is very deliberately: what makes one writer BETTER than another. So, my ‘ nonacademic’ wild card answer is: the fire that burns within you. The spirit as we call it; as Da Vinci has called it; as Nietzsche has rambled on about in philosophical muttering, as Pratchett has labelled it, as Kundera has exposed it.   Why do we have a proclivity to one type of story teller over another? We can contemplate that it has little to do with the writer but rather the receptive spirit of the audience. Or perhaps a combination of the transcendence to another world plotted by endless possibilities, grounded always in realism. We all want to be Peter Pan, but at some point our story becomes far more real when we grow up… when we expose our vulnerabilities as writers because we trust the audience will appreciate them as such.

Let’s think of Peter Pan; such a tragedy, poor boy to never grow up, to always win, to conquer Captain Hook, hence to never know defeat, to never know the paradoxical pain and euphoria of loving Wendy forever, to always only have fun… escapism is nice (with the rather insignificant emphasis on the insignificance of a word like ‘’nice!). But all this considered,  I want to know what happens to Peter without Neverland and Hook  and Tink and lost boys; I want to know what happens to Peter when he grows up…I want to know. I want to know what would happen if Peter’s archetypal ability of unending youth should abruptly come to an end. What if the archetype takes on a different archetype?

Now, imagine for a moment that you are allowed to touch Peter (if you are unaware of this basic facts, no-one is ever allowed to touch Peter – hence that Tink intercedes when Wendy offers him a thimble or Kiss) …imagine if you were allowed to touch him, thereby  destroying his archetype of unending youth, who does Peter become without youth. Who is Peter? How do you make him believable to the audience and other readers as someone tainted by a touch and manifested as a real man? How do you become a better writer than JM Barrie? How do you capture the spirit of a boy who died at 14 and will never grow up (JM Barrie’s brother died at 14, hence the Peter Pan stories). How does he become the grown spirit that captured JM Barrie’s writing fingers as a grown man?

I am the audience, enthrall me about Peter Pan as the archetype of old age – the Wise Old man – also known as the Sage, the Senex (in Psychology) or the Sophos. Merlin is a sage, Chiron from the Iliad is a Senex, Obi- Wan Kenobi is a sage. What happens to Peter should he be made wise old man archetype.

My point, with these ramblings, is that good writers are ALWAYS thinking…they are always creating new plots from old ones, new characters from old ones, new societies from old one….they are questioning constantly why, if a pen was lifted, it cannot continue now in a different time, place and emotion…

Tell me the story of Peter the wise man…

Yes, this is a task (600-1000 words)

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