Life is chaotic, which is not a bad thing. It just means there are infinite possibilities, lots of potential. It also means don’t ever give up. There might be something incredible waiting for you centimetres (or inches) down your timeline. I won’t lie – there could be something frightening too, but we must search for the good in life. There is a lot of it.
Novels take a slice of this chaos and mould it into something that makes sense. Catch 22 is the only book I know that successfully captures the ‘big picture’. Milo Minderbinder is a brilliant character, and Yossarian most definitely lives. Fantasy is no different. We readers like to relate to stuff – especially characters. That’s why every significant character possesses human traits. Hazel the rabbit from Watership Down couldn’t be more human. Robert Jordan turned honour into a character and gave him a name: Rand al’Thor. Some characters are more nuanced than others, perhaps because the novel is character driven, rather than plot driven. But we must relate to characters.
What constitutes a great book? This question causes heated debates, and because of the chaotic nature of life, there is no right answer. Some argue copies sold – a sound argument. If a book brings pleasure to a large amount of people, then it is doing exactly what a book is meant to do, more so than a less popular book. Others argue a great book must be thought-provoking, full of cleverness and beautiful writing. A fair assessment perhaps? No, because there is no right answer. Books inspire individuals, and we must accept that individuals are unique, and being unique is beautiful (as long as you’re not hurting others).