Well, the blog chain has swung my way once again.
This chain’s topic was selected by Sandra Ulbrich Almazan.
Terri Rainer made the most recent post on this subject. She also wins hands down for most gratuitous hottie picture, so if you don’t go check it out you have only yourself to blame. 😉 Mary Lindsey will be up next.
The topic this round:
What is the role of wish fulfillment in fiction? What personal wishes do you want your stories to fulfill? Are they the same ones you want to read about? How do our fictitious wishes affect our everyday wishes?
Well, I already talked in a previous blog chain post about my specific reasons for writing about triumphing over a traumatic childhood in The Edge of Memory, so I’m going to take this post on in “Big Picture” mode.
My favorite Tori Amos song is “Tear in Your Hand” which includes the line, “You know, you’re full of wish.”
I am. Absolutely full of wish.
I’ve had ideas for stories forever, but I only started writing novels a little over a year ago. So what was the catalyst?
Wish fulfillment. Or more accurately, the lack thereof.
Like, oh… everyone else in the world, my life has not turned out exactly the way I thought it would. And like other reasonable folks, I’ve realized it’s silly to expect it to. As John Lennon (Sandra’s muse) once said, “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.”
I’m a physician and the director of my department. I am used to taking control of situations, whether that means managing patient care, arranging on-call schedules, or running a code in an emergency. I thrive in those situations. I’m a problem-solver and a take-charge gal.
I struggle when I feel powerless to fix a situation. Among other complications in the last few years, a car crash forever changed the life I planned. I wish I could have stopped the other driver from running the red light. I wish everyone was healed and pain-free. But I can’t make that happen.
So the catalyst for me to start writing grew from my desire for control… to put my characters through all sorts of stress and know for a fact I could pull them through to a happy ending.
That’s why the world loves a happy ending. People need to believe wish-fulfillment is possible.
And that is the spine of every story really… to engage the reader to the point that (s)he WISHES for an outcome for the characters, and to fulfill that wish in some way. Even if not quite in the way the reader expects.
So, that’s my response. Probably not really the way Sandra intended, but you can’t always get what you want.
No matter how hard you wish for it. 😉