I grew up reading comic books by Marvel and DC, but mostly Marvel, because their characters were exciting and always seem to represent strength and overcoming self-weaknesses. Or, I would read Robert E. Howard’s Conan book series, and as I grew older Tom Clancy’s’ Jack Ryan novels were my favorite, where the heroes were defined and the villains, for the most part, unmistakable. This, to me, made reading fun and gave me insight to the type of person I hope to be when I grew to manhood, a strong male hero. Books and movies use to always represent clearly, for the most part, right and wrong based on commonsense with the exceptional thrown in for flare and excitement, and tried to make you believe that the impossible was possible within the boundaries of commonsense with creative freedom opening wide the doors of imagination.
Reality, a lesson I learned long before I could read, was often difficult, if not an outright harsh actuality, so a good book to read allowed for an escape into imaginative places that often lasted in memory, giving life to hope, long after I would read the final pages of a book.
Back when I was growing up, you know, when you had to walk to-and-from school in the snow, uphill both ways, things were different. Your most popular stories were the ones where America was portrayed as a place of hope in spite of its problems and in some cases, because of them, and the protagonist, flawed as he may have been, loved his family his God and his country and always ultimately did the commonsense, right thing.
The enemies in those stories of yesterday, were defined clearly, like the communist regime of China, whose history of murdering their own citizens for the good of the state, has now been switched out with North Korea whose ability to attack anyone outside of their own region is simply ridiculous, let alone possessing the ability invade America, with or without Russia, because such an attack would end the regime and the country. A more direct threat to America is China and a plausible storyline with a believable plot would incorporate this more accurate threat than that of North Korea. Due to China’s financial investments in ‘left leaning’ hollywood they dare not portray them as an antagonist, but try instead to force-feed many readers to accept ridiculous alternatives.
Also, I dare not forget to mention the Muslim terrorist who post videos of beheadings on social media platforms, carry out some of the most heinous crimes throughout the world, and yet are consistently portrayed as victims by writers and storytellers in hollywood who seem to prefer to write storylines where a Muslim terrorist chopped off somebodies head and the writer portrays them as a murderer who deserves your sympathy because they did this terrible thing because the terrorist had it rough and the evil America, someone or something, made them do it, or more likely, helped them do it.
Well, this sort of story writing muddies up the true meaning of writing fiction based on commonsense. Good fiction writing, as it relates to the antagonist, should focus on the antagonist and his own intentions, with a straight line that leads back to a commonsense cause. If a Muslim is the antagonist, you should avoid mudding things up with a cause outside of his commonsense purpose, or if the antagonist is a Christian believer, his purpose should also be derived from a straight line that leads back to him, but if you throw in his mother’s sisters cousins brother, by way of marriage, at the last minute to feed some outside agenda, it creates unnecessary gobbledygook.
Writing a fiction story is NOT a rewrite of a biblical text meant to preach, but simply tell a story with ordinary and or remarkable characters who are capable of doing the most mundane or extraordinary things, and where even the most dynamic of events are based on some form of sensible commonsense steeped in creative imagination.
Tom Clancy and Robert E. Howard are both deceased, so their fiction writings, and I’ve read them all, are limited to those written during their lifetimes. Though Robert E. Howard is long deceased before I was born, what writers like he and Tom Clancy released during their lifetimes, was limited to one or two stories every few years, so having so few of what I thought were exceptional tales of heroes and adventures, I long ago began writing and illustrating my own stories based on my narrative imagination born from my own desire to roam beyond my common every day.
My childhood experience is filled with eye catching illustrations from my love of the graphic story, as well as my love of the family idea, my Christian God, and a country I love and had the honor and privilege to serve.
There was a time when the protagonist and the antagonist were defined and you could see some semblance of them in everyday, where the good guy and the bad guy wore their hats proudly. However, in a world where everything seems to have turned upside down, the bad guys are trying to convince everyone that being bad, being wrong, is now right…
…this is prime material for a writer, who not only wants to tell an extraordinary story and put the bad guy back in his black hat, but create new characters to fight this fight and give those who believe in right and wrong, new heroes to aspire to.
Can fiction provide hope? Can non-fiction stick to the facts? Is America a wonderful story to tell?
The answers is, yes.