In order to write about the human condition, you must question your preconceptions, which can be viewed in the same way as a visit to the dentist – you know it will help you but the idea unsettles you. As I developed the main characters and their relationships, I started to question the idea that anyone’s life is truly their own. Once this fundamental tenet of my complacency was shaken, all manner of other questions followed, and they led me to a different view of existence and society than the one I had held since the overconfident years of my adolescence. All of these ideas are laid out in the story, so I am reluctant to expand on what I have already said here. If all of what I have said, both here and in my previous posts, leaves you uninterested in my tale and the ideas that underpin it, then you are unlikely to read anything else I write. However, if your curiosity is piqued just a little, you may try a sample of my first book, and so you may discover where those slippery thoughts led me.
A long time ago, I heard that the creation of a story is a journey for the writer, often more so than it is for the reader who only experiences the finished text. This was true in my case. As mentioned in my last post, I started my story with the premise that a man was dying, and to that I attached the belief that a person should be allowed to die on their own terms. This correlated with my view of myself and how I hope to both live my life and face my death. As such, my first attempt at a plot was built on the premise that assisted dying is a worthy option and my protagonist should struggle to assert his right to die at a time and in a manner of his own choosing. So far, so self-assured, I thought, but thoughts can be a slippery things and can lead you down winding roads to unexpected destinations.