Friday, March 07, 2008

It's In The Journey

by G.Parker

It's in the journey -- I became intimately acquainted with that thought this past week. I have come to realize it means more than one thing, but mainly it's all about perception.

We think when bad things happen to us that it is so difficult, and our lives are so hard. Most of us are apt to bemoan "Why me? Why is this happening?" Then we hear about someone else's problems, and realize that we have it so much easier than they do.

We'll read a book and think, "Man! I know how this is going to end." but we continue reading it anyway, because we want to know how they reached that end. For example, we've been watching the movie Walk In The Clouds with Keanu Reaves this week. It's a lovely romantic film, with old fashioned values and traditions, showing the strength of family and honor. It's also very obvious from the beginning that the man and the woman are going to end up together -- what's fun is seeing how that happens. What is the crisis that pulls them there? How do they fall in love?

While we were watching it, I realized it seemed very similar to the movie made only two years later called Fools Rush In. It's along the same premise, with even the same type of family background. Only, how they arrive at the end is different.

So, it occurred to me that it's all in the journey. As a writer, that is something I always need to keep in mind, because that is what makes or breaks my book. I may have an excited first page, first chapter, etc., but if it falls apart in the middle, the reader isn't going to want to finish. They could care less about the ending because the journey fell apart.

Also, this is something to look for in your everyday lives. Living a normal life is easy to take for granted. Once flat on your back the realization comes that things are not as easy as they were and everything takes on a different perspective. The future looms with a little bit of fear and uncertainty. Thoughts go through your head that make you question the journey you are on. "Is this going to be permanent? How will this affect my family? What about my work?"

Don't take the journey for granted. Live every day to the fullest and remember to put that in your writing, it will make all the difference in the world.


Christine Thackeray said...

This reminds me of that saying, "There are no new plots, only new voices." I've started another manuscript this week. Thanks for keeping me real.

Stephanie Humphreys said...

I keep trying to explain this to my husband when he says that romance books are to predictable because you can usually tell who the heroine will end up with. It's all about how they get there.

Jenn said...

I really appreciated this post. I always forget this concept in my writing. I see the middle of the story as just filler - how can I build up tension and make the reader want to get to the end - instead of seeing that as the important part of the story. The journey really is what it's all about.

I forget that in life, too. It's always - when I get married, then I'll be happy - and then - when I have kids, then I'll be happy - and now - when my kids are all in school, then I'll be happy. I need to learn to enjoy the moment, because I've been down that road enough times to know that when you get there, it isn't the end after all. It's just the beginning of a new phase of the journey. :)