So, you know how when people become inspired by the life or actions of a character on TV or in film, there are always those naysayers who combat the feelings of the newly inspired with, “Oh, but that’s just a movie. Real life isn’t like that”?
Even those who have been inspired will find ways around achieving what they’ve seen others do. “I know it’s only fiction, but…” This preface to whatever we might feel bolstered to bring to life is like a safety net for when we don’t. It’s like saying, “I know this is stupid, but…” Then if it really is stupid, and someone else calls us on it, we can say that yeah, we knew it wouldn’t work out, however much we really thought it might and really wished it would.
Well, what I think, and know it might be stupid and it’s only fiction, but…
So what? So what if the stories we love and want to live are scripted? Is it really so cliché to point out that every day we’re writing the very lines of our own stories? In National Novel Writing Month we learn that writing our stories unscripted is what truly breathes life into them. If we stick to an outline and any preconceived scenes or actions or dialog, then the characters and their choices seem stiff. They might even feel too perfect. That’s when they don’t feel real.
Personally, (and I’m just thinking out loud on my digital paper here, but…) I’d say real life is exactly “like that” – at least, it’s like the really good stories — the ones about realistically drawn characters who have to overcome adversity in order to improve upon their situations in life and who, along the way, improve upon themselves as well. Sure, by the time we read a book or watch a film, we’re seeing the scripted version, the edited finished product, after someone or many someones have come along and chosen which version of a greater story they want to convey to an audience, but isn’t that what we do each and every day when we relate the stories of our lives to our loved ones? We tell them only the good parts — or the bad parts. We don’t give them all of the boring every-day in between stuff, unless we’re trying to frame our story with the humdrums: “I was just driving to work, like I normally do, and I turned on the radio like always…”
So who cares if you read about someone who broke out of her everyday blah by being determined enough to shoot for something greater? Okay, so it’s just a book, but maybe someday your life will be a book too, a fiction based on real life. The lines in that book or screenplay will be scripted, and they might not be yours, but it’s not really the dialog of our lives that matters anyway. It’s the actions.