Are You Crazy?

Heath Ledger as Joker in Batman - The Dark Knight Rises


Genius has its limits. Crazy transcends them all. I guess to be crazy is basically to be not aware (or not care) of your limits. This is a general idea relating to all fields of study. To excel in something you have to be a little ‘crazy’.

In the world around us, the concept of conformity has grown to unprecedented levels. Sometimes we even conform to the idea of rebellion. I know many individuals who consider themselves as anarchists. To be an anarchist is also a form of conformity. It’s playing a role that a person believes is necessary for the sustenance of society. There is some truth to that, but yet, I won’t categorize it as crazy.

So what is crazy?

Crazy is a belief. A belief in an idea, which for logical reasons, would not work. Belief, and in extension, ‘Crazy’ is firing a photon torpedo through a small shaft to take down the mighty Death Star. But we all have seen Luke Skywalker do it with ease. What was so different in him that made him trust his own instincts over the barrage of information pilled in front of him? Belief. He believed he could do it. Was he crazy? You bet he was.

We are fall faced with situations where all logical alternatives are exhausted and we find ourselves stuck within reason. That is when we have to open up our minds to possibilities. That one instinctual action would solve everything. Your instinct would triumph all odds, only if you believe in it.

Alas! Majority of people have stopped looking at their instinct. Logic is based on common sense, and common sense is based on a collection of prejudices, as quoted by the craziest individual of the new world, Einstein. No matter how brilliant your logical deductions would be it would always essentially be dependent on a preconceived assumption of the laws of reality. In simpler terms, your logic will only let you see what can be construed in world of structured causality. But we all know that is not always the case. There are always situations which act as ‘singularities’ where all laws and logic go for a toss. What would do then? Then you have to go crazy. Take a leap of faith, and trust your inner force. And the force will be with you.

Now how does relate to the art of writing. Well, it relates to the art of storytelling. A story is kind of a time capsule for your reader where possibilities are endless. You have to pepper your work with enough crazy to get them hooked. A well structured logical story is a good read, but it might not be inspirational. To make the readers believe in your story, you have to give them something to believe in. Then you have to create odds within the flow of the story in a way that all logical outcomes are nearly or totally exhausted. It is then that you unleash your crazy plot dynamics that would eventually overcome all odds. Hence, crazy is a very important part of your story.

I would like to point out that in this scenario; you had already created your character before the crazy turn. You see, it is the crazy that lifts a normal character from anonymity to adulation. And in some cases, notoriety… Remember Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker?

Image in post is from a scene in the iconic movie The Dark Knight, directed by Chritopher Nolan, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.

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