Chapter 1: The Questionable Protagonists
Am I a good person, or am I trying to be? Is there any difference between the two? Or am I, after all, a bad person?
At the end of every chapter, it is for you to judge. Forget everything you think you know about me. I need your judgement to be objective and free of any bias from the assumptions you might hold. I want you to discover who I truly am. And thus, I want to try and understand myself and what I'm hiding from. Let's begin.
The experiences I will reveal throughout these chapters are mostly specific to my life and is not, in any manner, generalized. But I hope I can leave enough ambiguity to these posts so that you can meanwhile judge yourself to some extent. Why judge? Because we are fundamentally judgmental creatures. Because no matter how perceiving we believe we have turned over the years, our judging mindset rarely fades into inexistence; so does every stigmatic belief we are born with.
For the first chapter, I assumed it would be best to provide you, the reader, with details you can cross-check from my profile. Because at the end of the day, every little thing we do, every little thought we bare-- it all invariably points to who we truly are. (Also, good liars always build their version of the truth on a foundation of lies.) I had enough reason to suspect my protagonists over the years did the same. I discovered that I hid within their hearts a piece of my soul. A fine quality in a writer would be to lose all consciousness of self when creating a character, but one of my fatal flaws was always being a self-absorbed narcissist, no matter how many steps I took to alter myself.
The Dark Alley featured an unnamed protagonist who upheld his newfound love for a girl he had befriended above all his friends, who he considered muppets to his threads. From being alone with no connections, he finds friends who, he believes, are tolerable. The teenage protagonist adds and subtracts these muppets according to his will to find a suitable social circle. In addition, he values himself for having something special from the so-called nerds who lacked the social skills he comparatively had in abundance. And even so, when I narrated the story from his perspective, a part of myself rooted for this unbearable egomaniac, which led me to convince the readers to do the same.
The Constrained Journey featured an irritable toddler gathering her courage to leave her loving parents, all because they neglected her compulsion to be bought a bicycle. And yet again, I narrated the story from her perspective, almost justifying her actions, only to leave the readers with a conclusion with barely any change in her personality but only in her immediate needs. In the Needs & Wants Theory of Character Design, I deprived every protagonist of mine of meeting their actual need. In fact, I left them devoid of even realizing a transformation is essential to their character arcs-- as any person who neglects to confront their necessary evils would.
And in A Day in the Life of a Kleptomaniac, yet another unnamed young protagonist with recurrent stealing tendencies gets away with their acts of mischief. And subconsciously, I rooted for him to be safe, and I inflicted the same evil will on the ones who read the tale.
In The Mysterious Lady, Susan, an obnoxious and overly curious teenager, is gifted with the power of invisibility, and she uses it solely for her personal desires, including beating up a fellow student she hates and stealing from a roadside store. Only towards the end, when she is faced with an individual, much more in the lack of self-control, does she finally have an opportunity to learn what she could have done with her powers. But instead, she regrets being at the wrong place at the wrong time and is only affected by her fear of death.
In Out of Love, we meet Harry, an ageing widower and retired advocate, in the last proceedings of adopting a child. Towards the end, he realizes the child he was about to adopt was his granddaughter. But no details whatsoever were revealed on how the adorable grandfather loses touch with his daughter, so much so that he is unaware that he even has a granddaughter. And the fact that he is in no condition to raise a child is emphasized countless times in the story, and even being aware of it, Harry decides to proceed with the adoption. He places his want to cure his loneliness over the need for his granddaughter to be raised by someone capable of handling the pressure.
David McKenzie was an outright criminal and a brutal assassin, fuelled only by the instructions he received from the higher-ups and his perfectionistic love for his field of work, and later vengeance. 'Vampires are Made' featured a protagonist who never recovered from a regret so early on in his life and thus drowned himself in the ocean of his fears and regrets. Andromeda featured a protagonist who never returned to her normalcy after her parents died in an accident, only to be solaced at the magical return of her deceased mother.
'Has Anyone Seen Jo?' featured an arrogant guardian angel who boasts of his superiority and devoted purpose and regards any mortal being as inconsequential and worthless in the grand scheme of God. Sabrina was narrated as a helpless woman in the clutches of a carnal society when nothing, in reality, substantiated that there was nothing to incriminate her with.
Something Wrong featured a bold female law enforcement officer who is unable to put her mind at ease after receiving a call which she was unsure whether a prank or not, only to leap into action regardless of the consequences when massive protests challenge the very State because she was selfishly unwilling to live with more regrets after the death of her supportive mother. And Blaue Augen attempted to humanize the actions of the most notorious, wretched dictator of all time, only to end with a malicious sneer, once again denoting nothing has changed throughout the story.
There, a myriad of flawed characters shying away from their actual needs only to meet their immediate wants-- or even worse, gain zero insight from the tainted events that held enough power to transform their lives. There, individuals with unique strengths and sometimes a strong awareness about themselves neglect the need to confront the necessary evils in the voyage of life.
There is no objective good or bad. But when a character realizes their flaws and attempts to act on them, it forms a positive arc. And when a character doesn't even realise their needs or refuses to redeem themselves, it leads to a negative arc. Is it not possible for us to choose the journey we would traverse in our lives?
But it is far easier to identify the needs and wants of a character built within the bounds of a story scape. On the contrary, our lives are multi-dimensional, and our personalities multi-faceted-- a tapestry of intertwining elements forming intricate yet delicate patterns, hard to untangle.
So what is that you want? What is it that you need? Are you like one of my questionable protagonists, shying away from the life you're meant to explore? It sure would be impossible to comprehend every last thread woven into the fabric of our personality, but does that mean we should never attempt to understand what makes us who we are? In a life bounded within the chains of time, finite, isn't it one of the best explorations we could go on? To go on an adventure exclusive to ourselves which might even answer the much larger-in-scale questions of free will, fate, purpose and belief?
At the end of every chapter, it is for you to judge. Forget everything you think you know about yourself. I need your judgement to be objective and free of any bias from the assumptions you might hold. I want you to discover who you truly are. And thus, I want to try and understand myself and what I'm hiding from.
So are you a good person, or are you trying to be? Is there any difference between the two? Or are you, after all, a bad person?
1400 words, exact (: Hey everyone, um, lemme know what you think about the post! I know this one feels a bit distorted. I was unable to convert the post to exactly what I had in mind, so... And also, with the upcoming chapters, I'll try to be more general instead of being this specific, and try and present the underlying ideas in a better manner too (:
Also, check out Controlling Madness by @booklover_2020! It has this almost-dystopian world featuring a bunch of very intriguing characters with their own agendas, and everyone seems to hold so much depth! Action, mystery, family ties, secret agencies, military control, prison systems, insiders-- it has everything required for the making of a good thriller! Do check that out! Love y'all <3 <3