The Big Moments: Interiority and Drama

The Royal Wedding. Love it or “whatever” it, it’s one of those occasions that makes us think about the big issues that effect us. Like: what do we care about, what’s important in our lives, or what we think about the monarchy, or about marriage in general. It might even make us look at our own love relationship, or the fate of those marriages around us. We might remember Princess Diana and where we were when we heard the news of her death. In fiction, big events are an opportunity to evoke some of your character’s memories, and also provide a context for their thoughts about big issues: love, death, birth, marriage, circumcision, and other issues relevant to their lives.

Write a short story – or if you’re working on a novel, write a scene – in which a character is taking part in, or witnessing a rite-of-passage event. It could be a wedding or a funeral or a bar-mitzvah or taking their child to have her or his first haircut. Use the stages of the experience as a backbone to the story. Notice what they are thinking and remembering at each point. By the end of the occasion they should have reached an understanding about something in their own lives, maybe even made a decision, or changed the way they think about something. Allow your character to be transformed by the event. Big occassions are an opportunity to discover more about your character’s internal world, while, at the same time, a great deal of drama is happening around them.

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