Most of our days we simply walk through life going from one responsibility to the next with intermissions to enjoy our friends and family or to build some addition to our lives, or some such thing.
For the most part these are predictable and this predictability is welcome. Sometimes, though, life throws the unpredictable at us either as a truly difficult and challenging time or as a new and exciting opportunity or experience. These come as if from the blue and they have the power to impact us on a conscious level where we will never forget these moments.
If the mark of a life well lived is the number of days you remember, these are those days.
It may seem like a fairly cliche label, but I simply call these left turns. They are moment sof joy or test and they are unique in their unpredictabilty.
I think one of the challenges I struggle with in my fiction is getting these left turns just right. Someone once told me that one of the keys to good writing is the ability to properly establish the situation, the resulting insight, and the lasting implication, and turn those corners at just the right time. This is an easy to remember and perceive formula, but in practice it can be hard to do.
In my experience, and I don't think I am unique, the challenge is in the creativity to create these left turns and then do enough, but not too much to establish the situation/insight/implication. Too long and you lose the reader or they see the left turn coming and they are able to predict what is coming. Too short, and you miss the emotional and storytelling impact.
I don't have any answers, but I think about this a lot as I try to plan out my fiction and other writing projects. After all, in life those moments that hold the most meaning are the left turns, so in storytelling the same is true.
Causes James Buchanan Supports
Expanding health care in the US, ending war as a viable tool of foreign policy, and issues related to social justice in general.