Sunday, October 11, 2009

Creative Curveballs: An Introduction

We expect a lot from narrative. Aside from sheer entertainment and the relaying of tales, we usually expect to get a solid grasp on what's going on in a particular piece. We expect to be able to look things over in the end and say, "well, this happened because of this, this, and this". In essence, we expect to be shown enough angles of a story from various points of view so that we may make sense of it all. This expectation, while craved by nearly all, is however not realistic.

It is not my intention to say that all narrative must be realistic. Far from it, narratives should be of anything and everything, bound by nothing but what the author chooses. My intention, thus, is to say that narratives should be allowed to be realistic in the case of audience expectations.

This may seem a trivial statement to make, but it is not uncommon to hear negative claims akin to "well that came out of nowhere" in reference to narrative. While in some cases this can be a justified statement to make for one reason or another, my argument is geared towards the times that merely mimic reality. In other words, I am coming out in defense of depicting the curveballs life can throw every now and again. Life is not a neat and tidy ball that is easy to understand, and one human will never realistically know all the aspects of a single event.

Thus, I feel it is important to celebrate works that lob a curveball every once and a while, those that play with the concept of the unexpected. As such, I am dedicating my next three blog posts to the following works: the animes Cowboy Bebop and Neon Genesis Evangelion, and the PlayStation 2 video game Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. These works have been discussed time and again by various people, but I wish to explore my own thoughts on them in the writings to come. It will also give me an excuse to post more on this blog (which I apologize for not doing).

So, prepare for the first installment (of three) of Creative Curveballs some time in the future. I don't have an exact schedule for this thing, but I hope to kick it off relatively soon. And who knows, this may become a re-occurring segment with more works. Or not. Only time will tell.

(Oh, and as a warning, the future posts on this subject will be rife with spoilers. You have been warned).

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