Monday, May 31, 2010
First: Be sure to check out the League blog to see if you won the signed swag prize pack and to see my thoughts on dystopian settings!
Today, I want to feature a single by Colbie Caillat, who's most famous for her song "Bubbly." This sound, "Begin Again" has the same bright feeling, but the song's lyrics aren't as light and fun--it's a song about the end (or perhaps the beginning) of a relationship.
I'm currently working on something with my own characters. Something bad happened, and they're trying to figure out how to move on after.
But it also reminded me to two things that I like when reading about characters. First, the opening lyrics say, "I can't get you out of the sunlight / I can't get you out of the rain." What I love about this is that it's basically saying you can't make a person's thoughts and feelings change. No matter how much you love someone, if they're in a dark place, you can't make them quit being depressed. If they're in love, you can't make them love someone else instead. A weaker aspect of some romance, in my opinion, is making love solve all the problems. Love isn't love because it solves all the problems simply by its existence. Love is love because it enables you to find the strength and courage to solve your problems.
Another thing I like about this song is found in the chorus: "Oh this is not the way it should end / This is the way it should begin."
This one's not just about love, although it can be. Which is the better romance--the one where the main characters fall instantly in love at first sight, or the one where the main characters have to fight to be together--and just when you think the story's going to end, they find happily ever after? The chorus represents that to me--that after the fighting and troubles, it shouldn't end, but go on.
But in looking at stories, the chorus has another meaning. My book is a dystopia--the world's a bit grim. So I start the story not at the beginning of the good stuff--but after, after everything's gone wrong, after all the problems have started, after everything looks like nothing can be good again.
And really--most good stories start that way. Start with the problem that should end the character's world--make that the beginning of the story, so the story focuses on the character's struggle toward making good again. Start with the bad, and make it good.
Lyrics found online here (here's a sample of the opening):
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