I got another 1K+ words in on my Hegelian sociopath story last night. I was mostly happy, but I'm running into this awful temptation to explain my character's motivation, so that my sociopathic killer has the voice of a philosophy grad student gone bad. Not good.
Thanks to a college English teacher who really hammered, "Show, don't tell," into my brain, I cringe anytime I find myself even coming close to plot exposition or verbalizing a character's motive in a way that is unrealistic for an actual person to think. At this point, I rarely find it a problem. I have built up all the right habits.
Unfortunately, this story presents a unique challenge -- "allegory" is not the right word, but it's the first word that comes to mind. (Sorry, I'm reading Choke right now.) Essentially, what I'm doing here is taking a portion of Hegelian philosophy and playing it out through sociopathic murder. In other words, I'm crafting an allegory for something with which I know my readers will be totally unfamiliar.
If I pull this off, it will get encourage people to think about a philosophical idea that I think is very important to grapple with, without their having to actually delve into the arcane world of philosophy. However, just as the story of the apple falling on Newton's head illustrates gravity without dragging out a technical explainer, my story needs to illustrate the idea without the accompanying philosophy.
And I keep looking back at what I've written and seeing placed where my sociopath expresses too clearly motivations which explicate the philosophy I'm underlying. The sociopath shouldn't even be thinking philosophically, let alone explaining my story.
Aargh. I will try again later.