Wednesday, December 12, 2007

It Only Hurts When I Laugh

One of the many advantages in using a multiple point of view is the constant access provided to conflict. Along with tension and suspense, conflict is the mother's milk of story, the nutrient, the life force. Characters in agreement are as close to boring as you can get, unless you use multiple point of view to demonstrate to the reader that each character is in fact seeing or thinking something else.

Point of view helps us look in ourself to see the myriad forces at work allows us to eavesdrop on the constant squabble between the conservative self and the spendthrift self. More yet to the point it heps us contact our inner Buddhist in order that we not be judgmental about our characters. They supply the judgment we supply the empathy.

For those such as me who are not skillful plotters, such knowledge is helpful in creating a constant sense of the tensions and suspense that accompany conflict. Tension is the uneasy cloud of atmosphere that overhangs a relationship, threatening some sort of impending explosion, demonstrating with little or no footnote or stag direction how one character is intruding on another character's space. Tension is privacy about to be violated, a confidence about to be traduced. Suspense is wondering how far things will go and where they will lead. Conflict is an event, a place, a thing, a person represented in views that don't agree. Story is trying to forge an agreement of views that don't coincide, an attempt that leads to combustion.

Yeats had it right: the center cannot hold. The Republicans have been getting away with murder on this account for about ten years, and now that they have God working the precincts for them, we may have yet more conflict. As a younger person, not by any means fully hatched, I partook with my peers in attempting to get people to do things that seemed dumb on their face. A Congressperson from Iowa got the Congress of the Unite States to allow on the floor a measure stating that Christmas was good. He got the Speaker of the House, who already has egg on her face over knowing about waterboarding for close to four years and not speaking out against it, to allow the Democratic majority to put a Kick-Me Post-it on its collective derriere with this bit of idiocy. Admittedly I have some tenuous leaps of fancy and have on two or three times been nominated for the Soren Kierkegaard Prize for Leap of faith, but I could not have come up with this idiocy; it took a sitting Democratic majority to allow that measure to come to a vote.

Democracy and story i action.

Democracy is good for story.

Remember that through the tears.

1 comment:

R.L. Bourges said...

Christmas is good... ah, now Western Civilization is safe for all those Chinese trinkets at Walmart.
Sail forth, democracy!