January 15, 2013
THE KILLING FIELDS, PART 2, OR, WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO BELOVED CHARACTERS
Without giving away the store, faithful readers, you should know that One Way In isn’t a comedy in the classic sense, that is, with an unambiguously happy ending.
That said, it does succeed, I hope, in providing a number of quite comedic elements in the short-term, more contemporary meaning.
I always hoped this drama would provide a complete spectrum of mood, and now that it’s all written, I am satisfied that it does.
As a successful manufacturer and retailer of comedic goods in both the long and short term, providing both a long term and “just in time” inventory, in various media, I knew I’d be able to provide lots of humorous elements. What I didn’t know was whether I could subject people I’d grown to love and respect to all manner of difficulties and trauma in order to make both them and the story more credible and more deeply linear.
Believe me, folks, if you’ve never done it, acting as the conflicted deity who allows misfortune into these fictional but no less meaningful lives is a tough thing to be (the deity) and to do (bringing the pain). I don’t suffer from writer’s block, but I did find lots of excuses (need to clean up email, take out the trash, watch a show, run three miles, lift weights, clean a room, run another three miles, clean another room, watch another show…you get the idea), more than usual, to prevent me from doing what I had to do to advance the story for maximum effectiveness.
You might think I experienced similar hesitations and choices to parenting. Believe me, superficial similarities may exist, but that’s all. You don’t wish ill health or accidents or deep unhappiness on your children. While you accept the truth that you are limited in protecting them, that doesn’t stop you from helping them whenever you can. And (I know, don’t start a sentence with “And”, but it’s my blog entry, so I’ll do as I like, besides, I just wrote four acts and you like it when I’m conversational, don’t you?), the biggest distinction between author and parent is power, the ability to conceive, do, or prevent. In the first case, it’s only limited by choice conceptions that advance or don’t advance a story. In the second case, the parenting power is much more limited.
That said, in their context, parents have enormous power, and that’s an issue that One Way In certainly grapples with.
Next Time: CONSCRIPT OR VOLUNTEER, Part I
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