Tuesday, May 08, 2007

"Staring at the blank page before you...

...Open up the dirty window let the sun illuminate the wrods that you could not find."--Natasha Beddingfield, Unwritten.

Is there anything better than a story about a grand adventure? Perhaps having a grand adventure, but I don’t know for sure yet.

Sometimes, it seems, stories are begun properly at the beginning, with a nice neat storyline, and an introduction that properly acquaints us with the characters, and then a dilemma, which we see neatly and properly, and then a development or two that helps us to identify with the hero, and love him, and despise the villain—who, by the way, is very clearly a villain, and we don’t have to waste any sympathy on him—and we are quite comfortable in the way the story will turn out, because it follows all the right formulas and all the people are neatly where they ought to be within their fictional little world.

“But,” as they say in most of the best mystery books, “things never turn out like they do in books.” And yet, in a way, they do.

Take my life, for example. I have been given a perfectly good introduction to this world, allowing me to acquaint myself with the important characters and giving me a framework to prepare myself for whatever characters I’ll meet along the way. I’ve got my dilemma (it’s called “life”) and I’ve got a nice neat storyline (“live”), and the developments are beginning to unfold, I have begun to see how my self (I hope I’m the hero of my life!) reacts to different situations and I see how it makes me relate to everyone else, and I even have my own personal villains—hopelessness, selfishness, greed, sloth, and other little “snares from the devil,” who is very clearly a villain, so in theory, at this point, I should be quite comfortable about the way this story will turn out.

The Author has already made clear the type of story He’s writing. We know, for example, that the good guys win, and that it will be a lovely adventure, and that He isn’t going to have a bunch of silly little things happen which have nothing to do with the story, but rather, a complex and daring plot which uses every single detail to lead up to the climax and resolution. He not only uses all of them, but all for the good—though that may not be understood until the very last page—and although He may allow the characters in their various situations to get down, and be kicked once they were down, and then get home to find that they never paid the utilities so that the heat is off and the phone is dead and the stove won’t turn on, yet none of that is outside how much the character can handle, because He genuinely cares for each character, and each situation is tailored for the benefit of that character.

Not that it is always going to be a rosy day for the characters.

So even though the next chapter is looking doubtful, and I have no idea what the next plot turn is going to be, it seems that I should sit back and enjoy the story, because I know the formula, if not the particulars. And whatever happens, I know it shall be one grand adventure.

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