In wanting to become a writer…a good one….there is a price to be paid….and I’ve been trying to come to grips with it. This is another reason why I’ve been gone for so long….trying to reconcile my want to become a writer and…..competition…..
If your brain is anything like mine is, I’m not referring to competition from fellow authors. That is the obvious high hurdle. The other hurdle is more insidious– the “could, should, would”s…..
I was watching TV the other night and at one point the whole episode of a particular space oriented serial was destroyed (I have since gotten over this and have gone back to watching the series as of today). In this particular show, the bulk of humanity is on a space station after an apocalypse and the oxygen supply is going bad. Within months everyone will be dead unless they go back to Earth. The engineer maintaining the equipment realizes this and threatens to tell everyone (thus likely causing a panic). The penalty for breaking any of the rules on the space station is death. Harsh, but that’s the situation. The slang term for the punishment is to be “floated” (out into space). So as I’m watching the first scene in which someone (the engineer in question) is “floated”, he accepts his fate and steps into the large air lock. They close the inner doors, throw the switch to open the outer doors, and off he goes flying out into Earth Orbit to his death. Instead of feeling sorry for the “good” character and enjoying the show, all I can think about is [referring to the author of the script for the TV show]….
.oO(You stupid fuck! That’s at least 1,000 cubic feet of AIR that you’re going to have to account for leaving the station. What ELSE are the survivors going to breathe??? What an irony! The punishment does NOT fit the crime!)Oo.
Same show (it may have been a different episode), all the children sent back to Earth are delinquent or for whatever reason have broken the law in some way. That’s why they were selected to be the “guinea pigs”– to see if Earth is habitable again. As you may imagine, after crash landing on Earth, fairly quickly the children divide into two groups. There are the “good” ones who want to follow the rules and the “bad” ones who want to break all the previous rules that were back on the space station. So the leader of the “bad” kids rallies around the idea of “anarchy” and “no rules”. He wins the “election” handily and most of the kids side with him. The “good kids” go off pretty much to start a new life by themselves. Well, what bothered me in the next episode (or MAYbe the episode after that) is that the same character who styled himself after “anarchy” and lawlessness suddenly had organized his band of followers and had already built themselves a series of walls around water and other needed resources for the group. Effectively, they were finishing building a functioning compound for a worthwhile if not misguided society.
HUH??? What happened to “Mr. Lawlessnes”???
Now, in the author’s defense, TV shows have less time for the intricacies of plot and other dynamics that book/story authors do, but I think that you see my point. In becoming a writer, so it would seem I can no longer read or watch TV without becoming a full-blown critic…….
There is a price to be paid….and I’m working on it……