Behind the scenes, directors make a million choices: script, cast, costumes, feel of the show, lighting, blocking, sets, etc. But when the curtain goes up, the show appears to be the sum of one choice … whether or not to stage this particular show?
Choices assail us every day. Double whip frappuccino or unsweetened green tea? String the kids up by their ears or give them a kiss and let this crisis slide? Finish writing that novel we started or move on to something else? Curl up in despair or get up and try again?
I love to push the characters in my stories to the very edge of a serious choice then watch them squirm. It’s even more fun to have them make a few wrong choices, have catastrophe hit, and watch them struggle to right themselves.
A writer friend asked me, why the fascination with choices?
Good question. I guess it’s because I appreciate the freedom God has given us to choose. Part of me hates to get in trouble. I wish I could claim that this play-it-safe nature kept me from taking risks and making mistakes. But it doesn’t. Why? I have an even bigger streak of rebellion in me which has racked up a long list of POOR choices.
Funny thing, God’s been there through the good choices and the bad.
For the next few weeks, we’re going to learn how to up the tension in our stories by examining the choices the characters had to make in Reinventing Leona.
I’ll be anxious to know what you think. Wade in there … if you so choose.