Saturday, March 20, 2010

Edit. Delete. Retry.

It’s mid-term and there are papers to grade, I have to figure out the 25 words that will be read as I walk across the stage to collect my degree in July, there’s a presentation draft and essay due in a week, and I’m trying to figure out how a person is supposed juggle husband and family/friends when she returns home for her first post-wedding visit. (Both sides would insist they don’t need juggling, but I’m a child of divorce and my brain insists otherwise.) So what have I been thinking about for the last few days?

Well, frankly, Sandra Bullock and her disappointing husband.

As a newlywed and a person roughly the same age as Bullock (and as the above-mentioned child of divorce), a person might assume that one or all of these are the reasons I keep pouring over photos of the tattooed webcam porno queen/other woman or thinking about—whether the timing was intentional or not—how mean it was that she barely got any time at all to enjoy that Oscar statuette before her life got all crumbly and ugly.

But no, the real reason is that I keep thinking how writing is better than real life, primarily because in writing, you can revise. You can, for instance, get to the end of your story and realize that a character doesn’t belong and should have never been included in the main character’s trajectory and backspace him right out of existence. Or, if you see real value in the growth for the main character caused by the inclusion of the badly behaved secondary character, you can make sure she has an air-tight pre-nup and a nightstand full of condoms that she has insisted he use since they got together. You can also make sure that there is a Justin Matissee on her horizon that will make all the recent yuck of her life suddenly worth it. At the very least, you can make sure that her acceptance speech for a major award does not include a teary, heart-felt reference to the man about to harsh her Oscar high.

If only we were allowed to edit all the scripts.

1 comment:

  1. It depends what you are writing. If you want to write heroic fantasy or romance novels than edit. If you want to write about real life most people suck, the more famous the more they suck (usually).

    We are all complex even the best of us have problems. It doesn't make us bad, it just makes us real and three dimensional.