Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Writing Wednesday: Why All The Drama?...

Drama, drama, drama!

There is so much drama in our real lives, in books, on television, in movies. It's everywhere! It seems like the more we say, "I'm done with drama!" we get sucked back into it.

But what, exactly, am I talking about?

Let's take an example of something that is pure drama.

Soap Operas. And right up there are Reality T.V. Shows. THAT is the kind of drama I'm talking about.

In Soap Operas, you get a lot of the bad over-acting, back-of-the-hand-to-the-forehead "woe is me!" kind of stuff. (At least that is how it was when I used to watch them waaaaay back when.) The dun-dun-DUN! sort of mystery.

In Reality T.V., you get a lot of people trying to look cool in front of the cameras, putting on a false face and they usually end up falling on that face because they get stressed out, over-whelmed and break. And it's always "all about them" scenarios. More often than not, you hear that wail of "Why me?" thrown in there somewhere.

Okay, so where am I going with this? Well, there is this sort of drama in just about everything we read or watch, even on social media. We go to work and listen to that one person talk about everything happening to them, wanting someone to listen, but when you want to talk, it reverts back to them. You know what I'm talking about.

It's. Every. Where. You feel like you can't escape it. So why do we keep coming back to it?

Well, first of all, we like to know we're not the only ones going through a mountain of crap.

Second, we feel like it is blown out of proportion a bit, that maybe no one has ever really gone through anything like this, right? And it is totally worse than what we're going through. So it makes us feel better.

Third, it's that feeling of I'm-not-in-this-alone-someone-else-has-gone-through-this! sort of relief.

And finally, as we watch or read as the story unfolds, there is always a solution. Perhaps it is the solution you were looking for, but didn't realize it at the time.

There is a little bit of drama in just about every genre. It's what sucks the reader in. That problem the character has that just won't go away, no matter what, then suddenly, like a beacon, there is a solution. It's that arc that writers are talking about all the time. Like in Harry Potter. Harry just hates being with his relatives and can't wait to get back to Hogwart's. Everything is so much better there, until (drama!) Voldemort rears his very ugly head. But there is always a solution to the problem. Either one Harry figures out on his own, or through advice and brainstorming with his friends.

It's the pivotal moment. The one where we just KNOW the outcome is going to change and everything will be okay. Maybe. It's the "A-ha!" moment. And it is something we are drawn to, like a moth to flame, hoping that maybe somewhere in all of this, is a solution for our own problems. As writers, we write from experience. We write what we know. In all of our story-telling, not only are we sharing the story we have inside us, but we're also trying to get across that, hey, we've been there. And there is a light at the end of your tunnel.

What are your thoughts about this post? Leave some comments!


Unknown said...

Yes, conflict is absolutely needed in the books we read and write, even if it's less desirable in our real worlds. I took the entire month of December off from social media just to give myself a little break from reading quite so much of it--best thing to do leading up to the stressful holiday season!

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Mel
Drama in books equals page turners. Drama in real life equals going to bed and crying. I'll take book drama any day. Good post.

Mel Chesley said...

@ Rebecca ~ Good for you! Taking off a whole month! I may have to try that next year. I probably won't make it, but I'll give it a valiant effort. Thanks for your comment!

@ Nancy ~ I'm right there with you, sweetheart! Give me book drama any day. :) Thanks for your comment, too.