Previous Parts to this series:
This post is about a Life Hack which has led to riches.
We have been discussing the love story that every novel needs. The core of the matter is the ability to love yourself, which is very different from self-love or narcissism.
To love yourself, you have to come to trust yourself. Sometimes it takes a blindingly confusing Romance to achieve that kind of self-trust that lets you love yourself enough to love another. Can you rely on yourself to come through in a pinch?
One of the Big Issues couples face, sometimes at the outset of their Love Story, sometimes right in the middle of the Romance, and sometimes as a prelude to Divorce, is the issue of Reliability.
Can you trust this person? Has something they've done so surprised and shocked you that you no longer know "who" this person really is? Studying the Identity of others is the key to not being betrayed.
Writers who depict characters losing trust often brush aside the whole matter of how different people understand the world, as if understanding the world had nothing to do with trusting a specific person.
If you want your characters to sparkle, to come to life with depth, you need to study real people in depth, how they think and what they think about -- and why.
To know whether a given person will see this politician as a Hero and that politician as a Villain, you need to know more about that given person than just what they've said on Facebook. To predict behavior, you must understand the person.
Likewise, a writer must create a character from the inside out and place that character within the spectrum of the reader's everyday experience of "people in general." A character has to be recognizable to the reader.
I've never seen a more comprehensive rundown on exactly how to accomplish that framing of a character to be trusted by the reader than in this article:
It is about a real life billionaire -- as in "How To Marry A Billionaire" only for real.
This old man was young and hot, at one time -- and he wasn't a billionaire then.
Knowing how this fellow, Charlie Munger, approached analyzing the world of people and technology, of science and psychology, of marketing and value, you could have guessed he would become very-very-very rich.
There are more ways to be rich than just to have a lot of money. Romance writers depict most all those ways of achieving wealth of body, mind and soul, but in this case, Charlie Munger set out to make money -- and he succeeded. He is happy with that choice, very professional about it.
This method sketched in this article is one you can use to characterize a character who is going to become a billionaire. Is that guy or gal worth marrying, though? What kind of billionaire would they be?
The path to riches is fraught with failures, to be sure, but those failures lead to formulating a set of rules about what behavior to expect from certain Groups, and how to define those Groups.
If you understand the goals, motivations and belief sets common among a lot of people, you can trust them to behave in a predictable way.
Trust that is not "betrayed" or violated is based in a full, deep, far reaching, multi-variable understanding of the parameters that define another person. To trust someone you must study them, and study the Groups to which they belong.
To understand the forces driving another person, you must understand that "forces" also drive you -- some from inside, some chosen by you, some launched by others, and some from the Heavens.
To attain that kind of understanding of another, as pointed out in previous entries in this series, you must somehow find a way to love yourself so that you do not see only yourself when you look at others. That method of finding a way to love yourself is called a Life Hack. Cracking the code of life, gaining entry into another person's innermost being and finding yourself in there -- that is a Life Hack. Fiction is the textbook to that course in coding life. Romance 101 is required for graduation.
Fiction has to reflect the general shape of reality to be comprehensible and believable. You have to be able to see into another person in order to love them. After that, what you see in them can draw you into Romance under the right circumstances.
There can be love without romance, and romance without love. They are independent variables. So you can surround your characters with other characters, some of whom reflect your Main Character back at himself, some of whom show complex depths that are lovable, some of whom are shallow and unlovable, and one or two of whom totally enchant your main character.
Enchanted, your Main Character may fall into a Romance.
Or, if you are writing another genre, your main character may learn to trust another by understanding that other. Once trusted, that other character may be able to learn to love himself, and thus become truly rich. The password, the key, to life hacking is trust. If you are betrayed, it is because you did not understand what you were trusting. Read that article about Charlie Munger.
Study how Charlie Munger, Billionaire Extraordinaire, studies the world and trusts people will behave predictably. Use that method to depict a character who is learning the difference between riches and love. That difference is one of the most powerful life hacks.
Here's a previous blog post on the 1% and the nature of the billionaire phenomenon.