Real life

It’s a paradox writers have to struggle with, that much of our popular culture and especially film and stuff like thrillers are organized around superhuman characters doing impossible things… and yet, to a mature person who has struggled for decades just to get through the day, keep a job they hate going to every day, dealing with relationship struggles and the like, what’s really super-human is the ordinary.

But that’s not necessarily the most interesting stuff.

Whether it’s Prince Andre in War and Peace (lousy at marriage, good as a military follower if not leader), or James Bond (the real one, the one of the original Fleming books), ordinary people go a step at a time through danger and mystery, and that is what is really most interesting.  Children like superheroes like Transformers, who are effortlessly invulnerable. Adults enjoy regular people who do superhuman things.  (The real James Bond of the books was in pain and felt fear constantly.  That was what made him appealing to, say, a larger than life appearing President who sat in his rocking chair nursing  a chronic back pain condition while reading about him.)  Show the details of ordinary heroism.  People are tired, and scared, and alone, but do it anyway.

 

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1 Comment

Filed under Fiction, Writing

One response to “Real life

  1. i completely agree- real people are much more interesting than superheros..sometimes real life is much harder than saving the planet. Things don’t get tied up all nice in a blow at the end either.

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