clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Nearest Approach

At left, the trajectory of comet Kohoutek from 1973. I have a special place in my heart for this one because it was my first major astronomical event. It's where I learned about Kepler's three laws. Huge for a physics guy.

I'm thinking tonight of a conversation I had with a writer friend regarding spheres of influence. Discord and conflict arise are where the spheres of influence were in opposition in the story. In other words, where spheres of influence came under each other's effects at the point of nearest approach.

I was thinking of this conversation today as I considered an outline and rough draft of a short story I'm writing. I have strong characters and I have what I imposed as a conflict - though the real conflict should emerge naturally from the various encounters of these strong interests one with another.

There is an attraction to conflict as well as a destructive repulsion. So many times, it is as if what is the very worst for us becomes that which we cannot avoid. New Year resolutions begin to fade and this pattern seems true.

Douglas Adams said:
Funny how just when you think life can't possibly get any worse it suddenly does.
This is our story model. Pile it on, pile it on. If the protagonist is left with only a dog for company, shoot the dog.

I'm going to offer my own phrase here which emerged today in contemplation as the heart of several stories I want to tell.

When you really, really want something and finally get it, so often it turns out that you shouldn't have had anything to do with it all along.

Now, you too are stuck with the humour of the Gods as they ride about the heavens on comets. Miserable old bastards, really. That's what I think of this tautology: Humour of the Gods.

There's nothing like a bellyful of want that when satisfied delivers a fatal case of indigestion. Now, how does that fit into a philosophy of writing? Doesn't matter.

We were all buggered from the very start as writers. There's nothing for it but to write. Our perceptions were skewed long ago. There is something very wrong with us all.

Welcome, comrades. I love you all.

Now, go write something. You can look at stars later.

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