Thursday, January 12, 2012

Commuter to Reality: Sparrow Syndrome and Pessimism

What's good about sad?
It's happy for deep people.
--Sally Sparrow, Blink

Well, judging from the first two class periods, "Writing of Fiction" will give me plenty of material for blog posts, if not short stories. The series will be titled Commuter to Reality, because my muse is going to have to come in from my wide imagination into the little corner of it that is considered reality.

The second part of the title, "Sparrow Syndrome," comes from the Doctor Who quote. Sometimes, you just want to watch Aslan's death or the montage at the end of the last Sarah Jane Adventure because you want to cry. (One reason why 'School Reunion' has become one of my favorite episodes since Elisabeth Sladen's death in April.) Part of it is the relief of taking off masks, acknowledging that everything is not okay. Sometimes it's realizing that other people have it worse, even if those other people are imaginary. Tearjerkers can even be heartwarming, like the very end of 'The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe.'

On the other hand, there are sad stories that are merely depressing. For class, I read a story called 'Balancing Act.' The professor says that she assigns us certian stories to let us know what she might be looking for. Well, this story doesn't exactly inspire confidence in any of my ideas. It's about a husband and wife who gradually drift apart. The last sentences convey the whole tone.
Each walked a tightrope of need. That single afternoon, she later decided, was what had kept them together for another three full years.

Woop-de-do. Life in grayscale with no real hope of color or even sepia tone isn't sad, it's depressing. If sadness is rain, then stories like that are the nasty, stinging perceptation--not snow, rain, or even sleet--that you can barely see but grinds your face like pebbles. Rain can be poetic. You can dance in rain, watch it come down, let it water your garden. There's nothing to be done with the stingy stuff but dart inside and get out of the way.

1 comment:

  1. Ouch. Not a great class for SF/F then.

    Could you write a realistic story set in the POV of someone in the future?