You may have noticed I like to come up with theories. Personality tests? Love them. I love to put things into categories, organize life by philosophies, etc. Whenever I look up my personality in personality-test books, I come up with the category “likes to make up personality tests.”*
Anyway, I think I’ve come up with my Second Law of Storytelling.
First Law: Whenever, in the course of a story (movie, etc.) someone explains the plan for the benefit of the audience, THINGS WILL NOT GO ACCORDING TO PLAN.
The second law goes something like this:
Any scene with NO CONFLICT = DOOOOOOM.
Two characters fall happily in love? One of them has a fatal disease. A mother and daughter quit arguing? The mother has called the men in white coats to come pick up the daughter and wants to keep her peaceful until the girl’s sedated. The villain invites the hero in for tea? Strichnine, my friend. Strichnine.
Remember: any degree of “happily ever after” that occurs before the end of the story is doomed!
(I also like “We’re going into a dangerous situation! Let’s split up!” but that one isn’t mine.)
*Which is why I married a man who hates to be categorized or even understood. Don’t laugh at karma, my friends.