Monday, June 23, 2014
Stories and Characters
Michael: Short stories leave me dissatisfied. Not enough time to get to know the characters. Even longer novels, I often feel sad as the ending approaches. Every day I open the book and see what the characters are up to and what challenges they are facing and how they get over them.
Hanna: The characters enter your life.
Michael: So, so, so. I don’t want the story to end because then they’ll be gone from my life.
Hanna: So the story is not just about suspense. You’re not just waiting to see what will happen next.
Michael: There is suspense. Yes. But it’s how the individual characters face their problems, how they get over them. The suspense is as much about WHO did something as simply WHAT happened.
Hanna: Yeah. I can't put "Unbroken" down.
Louis Zamperini was an Olympic runner in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. He hoped to win a medal in the 1940 Olympics in Tokyo. The war came, Louis went up in an aircraft and came down in the Pacific. Floated 46 days on a life raft, was captured by the Japanese, ended up in Tokyo. Every event seemed to get worse. The screws tightened. Just as you thought, he can’t take any more, things can’t get any worse, and something worse did happen to him. Every trial he faced he had to think of a new strategy. It was Louie who drove the story.