When I watch shows like Game of Thrones or Sons of Anarchy, I just keep wondering if they can ever just have one nice day? Maybe they could go to the park, or watch a movie, and not one person gets shot, stabbed, or otherwise harmed. They could have the mundane suburban neighbor chats about weather and sports, and nobody would plot against one another or discover a possible conspiracy.
I know. These scenes wouldn’t be dramatic. A story too close to home is boring, but aren’t we desensitized to our heroes’ plight if there’s never any downtime? If we don’t get a break to see what simple lives they’re fighting for then do we care anymore, or did we just assume people this wrapped up in complex turf wars were all doomed from the beginning?
It is with this in mind that I am trying to give my characters a happy scene right in the middle of the book. I want the reader to see a beautiful and tranquil reality for my characters, one which they briefly had, and one which they hope they can have again. The problem is that my brain is struggling to give them peace!
I keep thinking of how to spoil their good times. Maybe it’s impossible to just have a good day. Sure, it’s unlikely an assassin’s bullet will rip through my office window, or that a meteor will crash into my family picnic, but people do love the opportunity for drama. It’s always living just under the surface, itching to escape. Jealousy, lust, lies, forgotten coleslaw. I swear I put it in the basket!
I’ll do my best to let them enjoy their day, swimming in the river and sharing fresh fruit in the sun. I can’t help it if they don’t know which fruits are poison. River sharks are a thing too, right?
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