THE PROBLEM OF CONTINUITY IN
. REINCARNATION.PART 1.
In my previous blogs , I had suggested that my next novel would be on the theme of reincarnation. I had discussed in those blogs why the theme of reincarnation is a rich source for fiction. It was suggested that the theme of reincarnation has an inherent metaphorical depth for creative writing. In this blog , I would deal with difficulties that theme of reincarnation presents to a novelist. I would share my own problems in devising various characters passing through several births.
When I began writing this novel , I had no fixed plan. My idea was to use reincarnation as a metaphor. I was also aware of the fact that people believe in reincarnation not because they are convinced about its logic , but they believed in that idea because it offered them some solace in their difficult times. Therefore , I was hoping to use the idea of reincarnation as a tool for analyzing human mind. After having written few chapters , I have realized that my approach was based on intellectual arrogance. When the plot started unraveling, I realized that the inherent psychological and metaphorical depth of this idea is so immense that mere cleverly crafted narrative would not be able to do justice to the idea of reincarnation. Therefore I have decided to let the plot unravel itself without any shallow cleverness on my part. However , the problem of detailing the characters still demands lot of planning. Therefore I was forced to think of several clever strategies. Thus my writing tries to strike a balance between my subconscious impulses and careful planning. In my next few blogs , I would discuss several problems that arise in maintaining a balance between these two contradictory requirements.. In this and the next blog , I would focus on continuity.
When I began writing this novel , my idea of continuity was the emotional continuity of a character going through several births. I was thinking about a protagonist who would feel vindicated after fulfilling his own desires after several births. Therefore I thought of using unrequited love as a constant emotion which would run through several births of the protagonist. I also thought that the novel could end with the protagonist finally reuniting with his lady love. My choice was based on the fact that this theme has enjoyed immense popularity in pulp fiction and commercial cinema. I was thinking that I could take intellectually superior stance and try to deconstruct its popularity. The trouble with this storyline is that it really requires emotional continuity not only of the protagonist but also of his lady love and perhaps of several other characters.
The emotional continuity of several characters in a single novel is not easy to achieve. Not only various emotions of all such characters in a single birth must compliment one another , but it must remain congruent for every character through its several births. Thus , for instance , the emotional interaction between the protagonist and his lady love must be matched to create a credible love story. After having done that, the novelist must ensure that both these characters must have consistent emotional growths spanning several births. One can imagine how difficult it would be , if the novel involves say five characters. As my writing progressed , I realized the enormity of the task. More importantly, I also realized my own inadequacies of handling such a enormous task. At that point, I decided to hand over these intricacies to my subconscious mind. I have, since then, restricted my conscious mind to remove logical inconsistencies in the plot. I can confess that barring first chapter, which was planned , the entire novel is a product of my subconscious mind. My critical faculties have played a role of a moderator.
After having finished few chapters , I can see the wisdom of allowing writer’s subconscious mind to shape the creative output. I realized that the very insistence of emotional continuity is , in itself , a requirement of our subconscious mind. In that sense ,a novelist is really communicating with the subconscious minds of readers. Therefore it is imperative that writer’s subconscious mind sends the message to the reader’s subconscious mind directly. Art may be analyzed by our critical faculties , but it must be acknowledged that art is created and understood by our subconscious minds.
In my next blog , I would deal with continuity of time while writing a novel on reincarnation.
(To be continued.)