This was first posted on May 13, 2015 . The message is still applicable to my writing.
Poet Barrett Warner spoke to a meeting of the Eastern Shore Writers Association last week. He talked about the ordinary events in our lives that resonate with our readers, sometimes becoming mythic in the process.
It made me think about the themes in the screenplays and the stage play Laura Ambler and I have written over the last five years.We have a body of work of six screen plays and one stage play. (Update that to include a novel and a brand new play.)
I’ve been formatting them so they can be put on Kindle, and in the process reading them one after another. It’s been instructional to see the the recurring themes in our work: the importance of “family” (whoever you choose that to be), reconnecting with family and friends, acceptance, listening to others, being nice, and doing the right thing. I like to think these themes grow from our own moral underpinnings.
Nice people in stories can be boring, so we give our characters flaws. It’s overcoming the flaws that creates the conflict that carries our stories forward. And by overcoming flaws, or trying to, our characters become real.
So thanks, Barrett Warner, for reminding me that our best stories come out of ordinary events. And that mythological elements are embedded in there somewhere.