Late in the evening of September 10, 2003, I started jotting down an idea for a short story that popped into my head. This brilliant idea that came to me out of the ether. The journal entry starts out:
“Story about a man in his late thirties who has spent his life avoiding risks until some supernatural event intervenes.”
Obviously brilliant. An original notion, without question. But not wanting to give up on whatever it was that prompted me to start writing in the first place, I kept journaling, throwing out ideas that didn’t really go anywhere, but that’s what writers do. Throw things at a target and hope you hit something. Eventually, I stumbled upon the idea that this character has first hand knowledge about certain events because he’s Fate.
Ten months later, while sitting on a bench at a shopping mall, watching people walk past and wondering what their futures held for them, I wrote a scene about a character who’s in charge of everyone’s fate and how disappointed he is that most of them fail to live up to his expectations. I hadn’t pursued the idea about Fate from the previous September, but as I started writing, I realized the ideas were connected.
At the time I didn’t know I was going to write a novel about Fate and Destiny. But as I delved into the concept and character of Fate, I thought about how Fate and Destiny are often thought of as the same thing. But to me, there was (or is) a distinction.
Fate tends to have a morbid association with the inevitable, that something ominous is going to happen:
His fate was sealed.
A fatal disease.
A fate worse than death.
Destiny, on the other hand, carries a much more positive connotation:
Destiny smiled upon him.
She was destined for greatness.
It was her destiny.
So I decided to introduce Destiny as the yin to Fate’s yang. Destiny loves her job because all of her humans live up to their potential while the majority of Fate’s humans make poor decisions along their life paths, forcing him to reassign their birth fates. Which makes for an overworked and frustrated Fate.
I also realized that the universe I created should include other immortal characters who participate one way or another in the lives of humans, including Death, Karma, Lady Luck, Love, Honesty, Truth, Wisdom, Secrecy, Sloth, Gluttony, and the rest of the Deadly Sins, among others.
While Fate, Destiny, and Death aren’t supposed to get involved in the lives of humans, the rule doesn’t apply to other immortals like Lady Luck or Fear or Anger. Ultimately, it comes down to what humans do with their luck or their fear or their anger that determines their outcome.
I have a copy of Fated to giveaway. Please leave a comment (with a way to contact you) before midnight on Sunday, November 6, 2010. The winner will be announced on Monday, November 7, 2010.