Hello to all who have decided to follow along as I post for 21 days straight as part of our church fast. As you can see, each entry is numbered as a particular day, so if you are reading this and the title above doesn’t say Day 1, then you should stop now and go read from Day 1, or take a peek at Day 2 and pick a topic you are interested in. Thanks for being brave enough to join me.
Day 15! Woot! We’re moving along in this 21 days of posts.
First, I want to thank you for reading these. It’s fun writing them and I hope they are fun to read.
Today’s post expounds on why I write about impossible decisions. This is another one of those times, dear reader, where you may say “duh!” because lots of stories, particularly ones we cherish, are all about impossible decisions. We encounter self-sacrifice, heart-rending choices, and “no way out” situations all the time in books, movies and TV shows.
We are teased by these moments, because they invariably occur at the end of a chapter, or at the end of a movie in a series, or at the end of the current episode of our favorite show. We’re then made to wait, either long enough to turn the page, or for a whole year (or two) for the next movie to come out, or just a week or so before the next episode. The whole time we are debating in our head “how would I choose?” and wondering how our hero or heroine is going to choose.
Sometimes, a third party intervenes, and the impossible situation or choice is taken out of the hands of the lead character. We’re generally let down by such deus ex machina moments, unless it’s in an action movie, because that’s pretty much their bread and butter. We expect it then. Other times, and these are the ones we actually like more (usually), there is no sudden rescue and the choice, once made, results in loss, heartbreak, or other bad things happening that have to be cleaned up later (or not).
One of the best examples of dealing with impossible decisions is found in the CW show The 100. The show is loosely based on a YA series of books by Kass Morgan. The show runs right past the books in the first season and thank goodness for that. I can’t really recommend the books unless you just want to see the differences. With that said, I can’t really recommend the show to the age group the books were targeted for. There are themes and situations in the TV episodes which take place after the events of the books that are very adult, not “young adult”, defined as 12-18 year olds in the literary category. But back to impossible choices…
The lead protagonist Clarke Griffin, is quickly thrown into a leadership position she really doesn’t want. Time after time during the first season, and even more in later seasons, she must make decisions that not only affect her and the people she considers family and friends, but the entire human race. Your head and your heart ache for her as she is repeatedly forced to make decision after decision, none of which have good choices. I highly recommend binging on the first six seasons before the seventh, and probably final, season starts in April 2020.
Enough promoting a favorite show. The point of all that was to say that it really only takes a few of these gut-wrenching decisions to make a book, a movie, or a show your favorite. We vicariously participate in the decision process, weighing the options, seeing no good one, then trying to find that slim chance to escape the choice altogether. This is why I write these into my books. I want to drag the reader along on a journey with the characters and make them feel what the character is feeling. Done right, this is some of the best entertainment available. I hope someday you all will get a chance to read about the impossible decisions my characters will face.
But that means I have to finish, really finish, a book and as I have stated before, I hope these 21 days of posts help to jumpstart me on that journey.
One last list before this post concludes. If you are looking for books or movies that involve impossible decisions, without resorting to Nicholas Sparks style fiction, I recommend the following items:
The Divergent series by Veronica Roth. You have to read all three books to get the full effect.
A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin. There’s a lot of words to slog through, but the choices and decisions made by multiple characters are intimidating and difficult. I don’t recommend taking the shortcut and watching Game of Thrones as so much detail is left out there, even with all of its adult content.
Rogue One, the best of the Star Wars side story movies, is an excellent example of impossible decisions (and sacrifice).
I hope you enjoyed this post and hope that you maybe found a new favorite show or book. Come back tomorrow as I expound on my thoughts on the church as a body.
Thanks for reading to the end!