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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Keeping it Real

Up to page 127 and part way through Chapter 8. Tracy and Alex went head-to-head over relationship issues. Writing emotionally charged arguments is very draining and at the same time cathartic. I think I've been dreading this confrontation which I knew had to happen. I'm not a big fan of disharmony, and I don't enjoy putting my characters through it either. I like  these people whose story I tell. But they are flawed, as they must be, or else, who would ever believe in them? And flawed people sometimes get into it.

Tracy is not me, although parts of her are me. She is many things I would like to be, but she is not perfect. I want her to be likable as well as capable and heroic enough to survive the adventure of this story. While there is a mystery to solve, she is also on a voyage of self-discovery called "LIFE." One of her flaws is her blind assurance that everyone else sees her and her actions the same way she does. She believes she is forthright and above-board and presents her inner self as plainly to the world as her exterior, but she doesn't. Because the story is from her point of view, it takes confrontation with someone else to help her learn about herself and realize her shortcomings.

Regular people face conflict and confrontations all the time, so it seems almost absurd that they look to fiction to provide more intense versions of those things. It's not absurd, though. I think part of what people enjoy about all kinds of fiction is to see how someone else overcomes conflict and problems and feel reassured that they, too, can overcome. Misery loves company? Maybe that's too strong. The individual merely wants to know that we're all in the same boat, being human, and we all have our ways of overcoming the tougher times life can dole out.

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