Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Recipe For Dark Fiction (or How I Learned to Limp)

A recipe for dark fiction.

Take a flawed character.

Demonstrate in an opening scene something that is near and dear to them. Take that something away, or make it feel very threatened.

All the characters worst fears come true, about the situation, and about themselves. Turn up the heat, make the insides boil out. Strengths and faults and blood and guts.

  The character has to act, sometimes making things worse, sometimes making things better. Their internal battle is turned inside out.

 Tease the character with hope. Turn up the stakes. Things get even worse. Squeeze some more.

Ultimately, the character may or may not retain what was taken away, but they do not come away unchanged, nor are things exactly the same.

Thomas Cleaves from Stray, Lilly from MILK-BLOOD, Macon and Erin from On the Lips of Children, Janice Z. Woodward from The Jade Rabbit: these are just a few of the characters who went through such ordeals.

And now whoever was written the story of my own life has followed a similar formula. *shakes fist and curses the Gods*

Four years ago I ran the Boston Marathon. Running had been near and dear to me, but now, it is gone. In fact, not only can I not run, I can’t walk more than a half mile. Pain radiates up and down my left side. I am attacking the problem with PT and other medical treatment, but the pain is there, and what’s worse is the numbness. No feeling. Nerves compromised in my back mean my leg is only partly under my control.

This blog is damn depressing.

I learned a bit about the Kabalah year ago, and a few tenets of the faith stuck with me. How our spirit purposely puts barriers in our own path for it knows that’s what it needs in order to grow. The origin of all our problems are self-created, and the battles fought are ones we choose, an obstacle course specifically designed by ourselves to target those areas that need growth.

Most times I believe that.

Other times I sulk. Or limp.


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