Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Moments that Matter (IRL vs. Fiction)
Friend: "Hey, how was your weekend?"
Me: "Good. The weather was beautiful."
Friend: "Yeah, nice to have some sun finally. We barbequed some dogs and hung out. Fireworks were great."
Me: "Yeah, traffic was lousy coming home, though."
Friend: "I know, that one intersection gets really gummed up."
Blah, blah, blah.
You'd never see an exchange like this in a book (and if you did, I'm sure you'd be skimming over it). Dialogue--and in fact, every scene--is supposed to move the book forward. Yet, real life is filled with epidsodes of banality, days on end that look just like the ones before, punctuated with moments that matter.
How often do we talk about what's really happening inside--our fears, our dreams, our secret shame--rather than just talking about the monotony of filling hours each day?
Books allow us--no, require us--to make every moment count. A word does not belong on the page if it doesn't contribute to the story. That's why books are such an escape from the tedium of life. Whether they are exciting, scary, tear-jerking or romantic, they are MORE. They are filled with moments that matter for the characters and maybe help fill the void inside us caused by the duldrums of everydayness.