I like to build universes which do fall apart.

I have a secret love of chaos. There should be more of it. Do not believe – and I am dead serious when I say this – do not assume that order and stability are always good, in a society or in a universe. The old, the ossified, must always give way to new life and the birth of new things.

Echoing Yeats’ “The Second Coming,” inspiration for Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Philip K. Dick proclaims the beauty of aiming at a more authentic mimesis. That is, if nature’s defining characteristic is chaos, then art would do better – or mean more – to follow suit. Which sounds like a cool, liberating, novel thing, except that it captures all art modern and postmodern. As in those movements, such a stance may become an excuse for careless disorder. Because that’s how the world works, right? It’s easy to rationalize fragmentation and arbitrariness in writing as intentionally designed world collapsing, rather than the standard imperative of world building.

Don’t misread me here. I’m not complaining about it. In fact, I’m eager to exploit it. I’m not sure how possible it is for such artistry and authorship in young adult fiction, but isn’t the psyche of that audience an amplified version of any adult’s existential crisis because they have a weaker experiential frame of reference? Shouldn’t young adult fiction be playing around with natural chaos a bit more freely in its structure and content? Isn’t adolescence an age of experimentation, confusion, and ambiguity, balanced precariously against social order and imposition?

Basically, I’m seeking permission for my amateur writing style. While a more established writer, one with a veritable ethos, might get away with the gaps present in my narrative design (because readers would be generous in their interpretations, justifying all the brilliant choices I’m making), I have a lot more selling to do. The burden of proof is on me.

So I guess I have to build a universe that comes together. Order and stability may not be good, but they are marketable. Will I be a chaotic artist or an orderly salesman?

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