By Angela Scavone
Drama, drama, drama. There’s so much drama in this world and I don’t mean television, movies or theatre. I mean everyday drama that seeps into our lives.
There’s dramatic moments in the car when someone cuts you off and you react. Drama.
There’s drama at the grocery store when there is always, inevitably, someone standing in front of the item you want. The person continues to stand motionless even after you’ve said excuse me several times. In your head you want to yell “move it!” But outwardly your adult self just quietly and patiently waits. Drama.
There’s drama at home whether you have children or not “Why are there dirty dishes piled in the sink? Why is the milk carton empty and still in the fridge? Seriously, why are you allowing the dog to run around the house with a freshly killed rabbit in his mouth?” Drama.
There’s drama at work — I can’t even begin to tell you the things that happen at work because I need my job financially and, well, you wouldn’t believe me anyway so I will leave you to add your own story here. But again drama.
The thing about drama is how you react to it. Do you yell and curse at the person that cut you off in traffic or do you wave and let it go?
Are you rude to the person at the store or do you just move on and come back to that item later?
Do you lose it at home or do you simply clean the dishes, replace the milk and shoo the dog and his treasure out the back door?
Your happiness is all dependent on how you react. Your reaction will result in how the situation turns out and how you will feel afterwards. This is especially true when writing. When you put characters into situations how do they react? This is going to determine the way the story is going to go. Personally, I try to get my characters to react with humour. I put them in situations like in Love by the Book where a couple tries to spark the romance in their marriage but ends up lighting their carpet on fire. Or in my new novel set for release later this year, A Journey Home, a soldier gets teamed up with her cheating ex husband to fly across the world to pick up casualties of war and is told she is to be professional, courteous and to not throw him out of the plane while in flight. She doesn’t throw him out of the plane but she does react to him with humour (and sarcasm — lots of sarcasm). Character reactions set the tone of the book, if my characters don’t react with humour then I will write them into a situation where they will.
Do I react with humour in real life?
I will tell you I’m not always calm or funny in my reactions to dramatic situations. There are days I curse the driver and days I just wave. There are days I will say excuse me a couple of times to the person at the grocery store then simply push my way past them to get to the item I need. There are days I walk away.
At home if I find dirty dishes in the sink there are days I will simply wash them and then there are the days that I will take them out of the sink and place them on the kitchen chair of the person who dirtied them and didn’t clean them 🙂 I know that’s not nice but really? 3 days? In the sink? They couldn’t have possibly not used the sink that long.
Ok so I don’t always react with humour but I do expect my characters to, is that hypocritical? Are you saying I should practice what I preach? Hmmm you may be on to something there.
Perhaps, if we all reacted to drama (and to life for that matter) with humour maybe just maybe the world would be a better place 🙂
Oh sorry how did I react to the dog running around the house with a freshly killed wild rabbit in it’s mouth you ask. I can tell you I wasn’t the calm shooing-him-out-the-door person I want you to believe. I was the jumped-on-the-kitchen-table-screaming “Someone get him outside now!!” And when the dog, his treasure and my father were safely outside I locked the door behind them yelling “Get rid of the carcass or none of you are coming back into this house. Ever!!”