Saturday, November 5, 2011

Take care. Take very good care.

Why should we care?

About your story.

About any story.

We should care if the story and its outcome mean something of emotional significance to one or more characters, and to you, the writer.

We should care if the situations within your story and the conditions within your characters resonate with a mythic anguish you understand on a verbal and non-verbal level,

We should care.

About your story,

If you are beset and it shows through your choice of events, outcomes, and characters.

We should care if your behavior in this time of exquisite crisis shows you in a posture we admire, might even wish to emulate when we are in such excruciating circumstances, whatever they may be.

We should care if you are not taken in by convenient platitudes you then attempt to fob off as realistic, workable solutions.  This is life we’re talking about, and what respect do we have for characters who think and feel in the shorthand of platitudes?

We should care—and we may well do so—if you care and it shows through actions and implications as borne out by your characters, with no stage directions or authorial interruptions.

There are not as many reasons why we should care as there are reasons for us not to care, which means we have our work cut out for us.  We must not be suckered in by false sentimentality, platitudes or gratuitous anything.

We should care because we are discovering something we hadn’t known when we began.

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