Monday, November 10, 2008

On Stories

"Stories are like swordfights," she said, "Sometimes it's all about making a point as quickly and clearly as possible." She lunged.

"Oof," I said.

"Sometimes a story is about showing your edge," she said, executing a short series of slashes, "or your mastery of groundwork, or your ability to choreograph different elements into a pleasing whole." She stepped back and we raised our swords to form a single line. "Sometimes it's all about taking a moment and watching a perfect instant of time, an instant that will inevitably be punctured." Another lunge.

"Some stories are all about character," I gasped, retreating.

"They are," she agreed, "but you and I know both agree that the way to demonstrate character is through drama and action."

"Sometimes there's a twist," I said, making a fine circle parry.

"And another twist," she said, riposting, "when the story has two edges."

"The false edge," I said.

"It's not a perfect analogy. But sometimes a story is about endurance, about being taken to emotional depths, and then coming back up, bruised and bloody to a new understanding." She stood en garde, voice as blank as her facemask.

"What about stories that leave you warm and fuzzy inside, glowing with desire?" I asked.

Her voice changed not at all. "We'll discuss that later". She attacked.

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