I feel like I have to comment on the reason why I wrote Volatile the way I did, and why the reader is allowed to know so little about Dante. Why am I lingering in Chris' head? Why isn't there more dialog?
Have you ever felt that frustration of not understanding someone? Of actually not being able to reach through even though you want to do so? How much can we actually know about a person who won't talk when we have no ability to read their thoughts?
My endeavor with Volatile was precisely to show how impossible that can be. I had two characters that were lousy at communication but despite that flaw, they had chemistry between them and an urge to learn more about each other. Chris is locked inside his own mind, much like I am when I'm depressed. I can't for the life of me see pretty much anyone else until they're shoving their last piece of subtlety down my throat. Chris' introspection is a direct consequence of his inability to reach out and interact with the world around him. He observes, analyzes, but he's not active.
Chris really doesn't understand Dante even though he wants to. And Dante has never let anyone in apart from Cecilia who has been his friend longer than anyone else. Dante also has the habit of wanting people to read his thoughts. He's even counting on the fact that people can read his thoughts and emotions by the way he behaves. The reason for this is that he reads people all the time, and he uses that information to piece together the puzzle that is Chris. In fact, I have a feeling that Dante knows a lot more about Chris than vice versa.
So, what can we expect Chris to learn from Dante when he can't read thoughts, and in turn, what can I expect the reader to understand.
Perhaps I have left many of you in the dark, and that's generally not a very nice feeling. As a reader you can feel betrayed, and I fully understand that.
There is a lot more to the story, and a few of you have picked up on that. Dante has his own struggles to deal with once the story progresses, and when he's no longer within our reach, he changes. He changes off page, and yes, I can fully understand how that is problematic.
Perhaps, one day, I'll let you know what happened during those months. Perhaps I'll allow you to see a few more pieces of the puzzle. Solve for x, or solve for Dante.
One thing I learned while writing this novel was that I can learn from my characters' mistakes. Dante taught me that I can't expect people to understand what I'm thinking all the time even if I think I'm fully transparent. We aren't mind readers after all, although, Chris would have had an easier time during these months if he'd been one.
Last, but not least, thank you everyone who has given my guys a chance. I hope you enjoyed the novel, and I hope that you'll stick with me on the journey ahead. We're not done yet after all.