AnzAuthors Blog   

Life's Journey

Dramatic images have dominated our TV screens and newspapers as floods, fires, cyclones and earthquakes shake our sense of security. We sit riveted to images of pain, horror and disaster. Are we just voyeurs, staring at the misfortunes of others? Or do these events remind us of our common thread of existence: striving to stay alive, to endure and to start all over again?

     As writers of fiction, we know that a story without drama is a boring tale. We don’t need to fill out our plot line with the extreme challenges these freak events of nature bring. But it is hard to imagine a book with no tension, no trouble, no problem that sets our characters against the wall and forces them to dig deep, even if only into their psyche.

      The hero’s journey is a well-documented storyline. The challenge, refused, then taken up, the impossible task, the resolution. It is such a cliché now that we might sigh as the movie starts, knowing already how it is bound to end.

      But in our fiction, our characters must face a challenge. Perhaps they set out asking a question. They will spend much of the book dealing with this riddle, perhaps happily, perhaps not. The initial question may well need to be rephrased or replaced, but it will have made our character think and grow.

     Those who have survived the recent horrors of natural disaster tell us they have thought about life and changed their priorities. In the same way, if we use dramatic tension, our characters can discover strengths and insights and we, as readers, close the book with a feeling of satisfaction. For our character’s journey reflects real life, and allows us to believe we too will resolve our problems and dilemmas by the end of the story.

Contributed by Margaret Sutherland  

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...
Make a Free Website with Yola.