One of the great joys of writing fiction lies in the ability to vent about the world - specifically, human beings - without directly coming out and engaging in rambling, acrimonious, sociopolitical screeds that might have more of a tendency to piss people off without serving any particular purpose. What delights then wait in creating a story whereby the author can hide behind the characters and present them as representatives of the various faces that humans present in the real world.
Many years ago I wrote a novel called I Dream in Widescreen wherein 13-year-old narrator Evan Schaeffer defies just about every expected personality norm for a boy in his comfortable, affluent world, but ultimately he has the same needs and desires as any other boy his age - needs that are NOT being fulfilled by the adults in his life. Evan loses himself in an illusion created by his favorite video games, movies, and music; and when tragedy strikes, he melts down. The underlying theme of the story focused on the larger illusions we create for ourselves through materialism and the Quixotic pursuit for more, more, more without consideration of what we're losing in the process. Yeah, yeah, sounds like a buzzkill. Actually, the story is quite fun and, for the most part, one of the more hopeful books I've written. Note the previous use of "underlying," my friends.
Back when i was selling the manuscript to the market, I had more than one agent who seemed willing to represent the book - one hardened o'l bastard even admitted he shed a tear toward the end. But, like so many agents who have hemmed and hawed and over-analyzed my work through the years, he couldn't figure out how to sell it. No matter. I told the story I wanted - and yes, the aforementioned agent did pick up on the underlying theme.
At some point soon I am going to revisit Dream. My experience as a teacher has shown that this immersion into video games and media has created far greater illusions among the newest generation of addicts. The story may yet have relevance.