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Showing posts from August, 2011

Story-writing and Providence

As I keep working on a long story with friends this summer, I have discovered that one of the chief things I try to do to characters is to break them. I am continually throwing them into very difficult situations, and forcing them to meet and get to know other characters who they can't stand, and generally making their lives miserable.

Why do I do this?

It's not just because I'm sadistic and enjoy driving my co-writers insane (although I do sometimes enjoy that too...) but it's because that is really the only way in which the story works. Characters, even ones that I designed, do not typically want to do what they should. If I leave them where they're comfortable, they never go anywhere. A lot of them would never interact, and there would be very little depth or richness to the story. They grow through the things I force them into.

Breaking reveals what they are made of.

Over and over, I keep pushing them until I find their flaws, burning that out of them, a…

End of Summer

I've been busy with countdowns recently.

One more day of work.

In two days, I'll be at a wedding reception for two of my dear friends. We've known each other since we were in highschool. It's crazy -- and pretty exciting.

In two days I'll be flying to Massachusetts.

In a week I'll be 21.

In less than two weeks, my next-oldest-sister will be coming to college to start her freshman year.

In less than a month, I'll be in China.

There are other countdowns, like the people I wanted to say goodbye to, wanted to spend time with, before I head home and then across the world. Or, more accurately, the people I don't want to say goodbye to.

And there are the counting-up lists. It's been a good summer.

Days spend in sunshine and dinners with the Wrights and Joanna, full of laughter, weekends with the Kennedys, who kept bringing me home... all summer... the guys in the grounds garage and the tennis balls flying back and forth; lots of Madeleine L'Engle; trees…