Writers: Are You Living Under a Paper Moon?

Writers or not, we’ve all been there, to that place where our imaginations take precedent and where they create a world inside our own, above and beyond what must fall to the rules of our concrete Earth.

I’m building a place/something amazing/just for the sake of saving us.

I am an escapist artist. I write to remove myself from this physical land and the psychophysical screaming in my mind. Every world I delve into, each piece and every person, is done with one intention of removing myself, and my readers, from the places we know as real.

Sometimes, we need that. All life is cruel at times, and in the those times, someone may need an escape, a piece of artwork to lift up, to be built from the very remains of a concrete life, made too sturdy, when writing’s flexible caress will care more…even if that care holds less truth.

I am always folding the edges and scribbling down society’s next move – both literally and figuratively. As no character lives independent of their own fiction, a new wherever has to be moulded around them – and away from the walls of their own possibly-punctured lives, towards the new society, the new habitat for better thoughts to breed and thrive.

That society may be twisted, but it automatically becomes a magical place for the reader, because it saves them from themselves for a while.

But such a move is not always recommended.

I’ll build up a house/build up an army/of cellophane soldiers/cheap origami…

Sometimes we do have to stop and think – am I letting myself fall too far into the page-world I have created? Will I be able to pull myself out of this crease when I am needed on the other side?

Now, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, but – as the best writers well know – characters are no replacement for real people, real friends and real loves. Those voices in your head will always exist, maybe not forever as creations, but as parts of your anima, your soul, who talk in the dark of night and to whom you just want to yell “shut up!”

Think: they will always be another level of the paper filter.

I often experience these thoughts with my characters – but, in the end, no character is so immaculate that they live outside of their own enclosure. Perhaps we imagine it so, but each character does, in the end, what they ought to. Because they’re simply bits of our self. A cellophane, plastic army.

Whatever’s left/of that little box that beats in your chest…

I have cut chunks from my heart and placed them towards each of my characters. As discussed before in posts related to the Writer Phenomenon, we may not try to have our characters act like we do – life imitating art – but the subconscious likes to include tricks, pieces and places our conscious minds are not aware of being so exposed to.

But exposure is just that: it permeates throughout a person’s self without them truly being aware of such an event happening. Next time they look – they’ve changed unwittingly. Hence why a good writer must always read their genre.

Think you are having premonitions because you spot something in the real world that came from your dream? The sceptic would say that this is due to the subconscious recognising pieces of the lost dream and showing them to our faces when the stimulus occurs. I cannot entirely agree – for I am not a sceptic – but one might argue that writing is taking part of our subconscious away and boxing it into another creation, another character, for instance, whose name begins with A…

Even the little details show we are losing ourselves in our fiction. A curl here, a dimple there, a glimpse of a past once lived and a future tucked in only memories… Soon, the two will collide, scattering fiction and existence into nowhere and nothing.

Nothing is wrong with living away from reality for a while, but we must all be careful not to get too wound into our novels, novella, short stories, play-scripts and games. I’m simply saying: it’s all right to take a break if you feel yourself slipping under a paper moon.

Me and you, living under a paper moon/‘cause real life just isn’t right/let’s fabricate.

This post was inspired by the quoted lyrics of All Time Low’s song ‘Under a Paper Moon’. I greatly admire the band for their amazingly poetic lyrics as well as their amazing guitar and percussion. If you would like to hear the song, a YouTube version is below:


One thought on “Writers: Are You Living Under a Paper Moon?

  1. I hadn’t heard that song before. Thanks for sharing. And yeah, I think a lot of us use our worlds to do a little escaping now and then. At least we can solve those problems. 😉

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