6: Have you Weaponized the Core?
What is the Core?
The Core is value. Taking stock of what you have and remembering bereavements. It is defying the threat of preservation against opposition if it be by destiny, foes, or legal decree so that a narrative is humanized, or brought to a dehumanized state. Concepts like extinction, annihilation, devolution, damnation, etc, may be used as a proper crisis to test the core. The stakes must be raised in order to sync core values and elevate dramatic themes.
|Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash
Weaponize the Core
In sci-fi like Star Trek, when the antimatter core is ready to go up, the mission is put on hold until the situation is resolved. Or… they have to abandon ship. There are even times when the ship’s core may be weaponized, and the order given for ramming speed or warp jump into a target. It’s all or nothing, do AND die, this done to pay a debt or buy time for a desperate plan.
Such dire conditions bring dense gravity to the narrative and a sense of unexpectedness, which sometimes passes for surprise, but in either case, does not dump shock the reader. It is critical that the reader is drawn in by what is done to the core because it is their own core that is of chief concern.
Empathy is needed in order for the flavor of hero, antihero, villain, etc to drive home what is at stake and so what may be lost. Like when a muse flash is obliterated due to a lack of paper or time. When we focus on forever in a departed now, what might be lost in a moment becomes precious.
Weaponize to emphasize
There is another core, one of liberty, morality, principles, and justice. If you see someone suffering, the instant reaction is to wonder why. Some have it coming for misdeeds wrought or crimes against the just and innocent, but “why” isn’t the point we are making here. The point is what abuse, punishments, torture, and incarceration do to both writer and reader.
- broken anatomy – outer vulnerability
- parading anatomy – external vulnerability
- visceral anatomy – internal vulnerability
- diseased anatomy – inner vulnerability
- abominable anatomy – cosmic vulnerability
|Photo by Alexandru Acea on Unsplash
Such vulnerability should move an audience emotionally, or harden their hearts.
Important Questions: Do we care about what’s happening? If not, why not? Do they, the victim, have it coming?
According to each person’s deeds and intentions, that is how people should be treated, and when that treatment is deformed, distorted, or warped by agenda or hatefulness, a character (or culture) may be traumatized by abuse or violated through an unjust ruling. Out of suffering comes great measures of behavioral accentuation, for good or evil, and so one of a kind characters, nations, or situations may emerge.
- Trauma as (is) teacher
- What is a sacrifice?
- How best to assign value to blood?
- Violence, violation, deprivation, intimidation
When writing fiction, you cannot get away from themes of violence, sex, and conquest. The body is THE common ground, for embodiment of spirit is synonymous with being alive. Many such themes have suggestions, implications, and out and out consequences for characters and plot so that the narrative gains mass.
The artful wielding of trauma, or an escape from its possibility, brings a lot to the table for readers. Losing a hand, an eye, a child, a kingdom, a planet, a parent, a bride, can make all the difference in a character’s life, altering them in ways that otherwise would never have been possible. After all… Do any of us truly know what we have until it’s gone?
This Trauma as (is) teacher thing sounds cruel or demented from the outside, or at the very least a bit overboard. However, when it comes to myth and that which is mythic, there is no such thing as overboard. All the fables, myths, legends, and fairy tales are blood-soaked and reaching into incubus. Are we not to learn from and build on these elder Texts, just as our famed literary masters have done?
No author mindful of cultural backlash is trying to trigger someone, yet the form of myth compels said author to explore beyond the expectations set by creative yesterday. That is why genre and demographic funnel audiences the way they do. No one wants to ruin someone’s day, yet all the greatest tales in mankind’s library touch us so because they are at least brutal, and at worst traumatizing so as to be remembered always… The collective core having been weaponized against an engaged audience for their entertainment and inspiration.