Saturday, January 14, 2012

Character Skillets

"Your dream stinks.  I was talking to her."
I was watching Tangled last night--again. That's Disney's latest retelling of an old fairy tale. The first time I watched it I was surprised how much I enjoyed it.  It's a familiar story but a delightfully unexpected version.
Tangled has all the things a good story needs: a damsel in distress, a slightly flawed hero, an evil witch, a horse, and an iron skillet. They called it a frying pan but anybody from the South can look at it and know what it is.
The skillet is one of the unexpected finds.  As is the horse. Then there's the one handed thief who wants to be a concert pianist and the mime.
That's the kind of stories I want to write: those that give the reader something they didn't expect, but they enjoy.  Whether it's seeing an old flame riding in Angola's prison rodeo, taking a date to a Klan rally for extra credit, or spending spring break with desperate house wives and vampires, it's taking the mundane every day stories and giving them to the odd and dysfunctional. I mean, even homicidal cat ladies need love too.  What better place to find it than the rope section of Home Depot with a troubled guy buying a shovel to bury his girlfriend?
Probably not what Disney had in mind, but it's putting our own spin on themes we all know. That's what's fun about writing.  You don't have to follow a formula to write what you enjoy.  You can tell the most inane stories or the most tragic or funny.  Or all of it. Your writing is your own.
As writers we see things with a unique perspective.  Then we tell it's story with our own interpretation.  Sometimes it's serious business, but I like to give it a quirky twist.

1 comment:

  1. Fun post, you quirky girl! Can I just say, I'm glad I don't date you. Klan Rallys don't sound fun -- even for extra credit. You have the makings of several great short stories though. Write them!