Monday, December 16, 2013

Drama

I hate drama in real life. Especially when it's drama that could be avoided by being a mature, responsible adult. And MOST especially when I'm the one failing to BE that adult, and I end up making my life more complicated than it needs to be.

Drama can have many forms: situations outside of our control (such as how a friend or coworker treats us no matter how we try to get along with them), household plumbing issues that won't fix themselves no matter how hard we try to make them do so (something I've been dealing with since becoming a homeowner), and decisions we make that we then have to rectify if we ever want the drama to go away.

In fiction, drama is necessary for the reader to stay engaged. I've known people who prefer not to read certain genres because of the type of drama that's prevalent in those stories, but there is a lot of personality-driven tension in pretty much any book worth reading. It's what incites emotions in the reader. Makes the characters appear real. And the potential for personal grown within that book is what drives the reader to keep going to the very end.

There are times when drama drives me nuts, even in a book. But it's necessary in a novel or short story. So even if it's uncomfortable to write, put in the drama. Try not to make it melodramatic (unless that's the style you're writing), but make a character whine, complain, get angry for no good reason, and then make them LEARN from that situation. Because if they don't do THAT, you're just reminding us why people are hard to be around at times.

And let's face it: we read to see characters change and grow. Not to hear them whine and sulk for the rest of their lives.

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