[Note: This is a novel being presented in installments, one chapter per week, every Friday, from May 4 to August 24, 2012. The full novel will be published in its entirety in September 2012.]

Just type away, any old word will do. It’s perfectly natural to get stuck at a certain point.

-Are you frustrated now?

Thank you for your concern, Jonathan, but I’m fine.

-You don’t seem fine.

No, really, I’m okay.

-Having trouble creating a story?

You don’t give me a lot to work with. You are a flawed individual with less than heroic characteristics. At every chance to improve yourself and your life you’ve taken half measures or steps backwards. If this was an inspirational, how to book I think the only thing you might have inspired anyone to do was to not be you. This is Jonathan, don’t emulate.

-But I’m just a character on a blank page. You are the asshole who created me.

It’s always the same with you protagonists. You are placed in the middle of everything. Every scene revolves around your life. If anything happens to you in any of those scenes, it’s supposed to be accepted as having great importance and meaning and significance to you. To you! Somehow all of this is about you. Don’t give me any attitude that this is my entire fault. Please, I beg you. You! Don’t give me any attitude. This entire world, this blank creation, it was empty, and there was nothing, until I created you. I created everything around you for you, and you don’t stop to think that perhaps it’s all there for you, and you, yes you, are at fault for not making the most of it.

-You want to place guilt on me now?

It’s not a guilt trip, Jonathan. I can’t make you feel guilty. I’m just the guy who gave you a bit of an outlined sketch, a few things here and there so that everyone would recognise you. You filled in the rest on your own. Guilt, disappointment, underachievement, those are just words. I only write words. You are the one who puts any meaning around them. Don’t criticise me for what you’ve done. I put you in a cubicle. I put you in a bar. I put you in your apartment. That’s it, man. Everything you’ve done in those places has been you. You’ve carried out the motions without any real intervention. You went in the directions that you led yourself.

-But you are the author.

Yes, I’m. I will take responsibility for starting all this. But you finish it. You are not the character I sketched out in my notebook way back before this. That’s not you. That was just a sketch. As soon as that sketch made its way in to being you, Jonathan, it gained character and I can’t stop it, you, from being that character.

-I don’t like me as a character.

No, you should not. You had a lot more potential in that sketchbook.

-You want me to change?

I already told you I’m not going to do anything ham-fisted to fix you.

-So, it’s up to me then, is it?

It always has been. You are the protagonist. This story is all about you.

-That’s a lot of weight to carry.

But you don’t weigh anything, Jonathan. You are just made up of words, like everything else in this book.

-You make it sound so insignificant.

It’s absolutely meaningless.