Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Watching a Train Wreck


Come to our stripper club tonight where you can see thirty beautiful women -
and two ugly ones!



I heard this on the radio while driving down the highway. I know of this club. It's only few miles outside my town.


What amazed me about this radio advertisement is just how effective it was. I must confess, I wanted to go to that strip club. Why? It wasn't to see the thirty beautiful women. I'm old enough to have seen beautiful women. What peaked my interest was the two ugly ones. I was so curious, I wanted to make plans to go to this club and see if I could find the ugly dancers!

On a side note, I wonder if they tell the dancers which ones are considered the ugly ones. Do the ugly ones know who they are? They certainly must be aware of their commercial draw for the club.

This kind of reminds of that old cliche' "It's like watching a train wreck - you just can't look away."

What is it about the proverbial train wreck that grabs hold of our attention? Why is it that most folks just can't look away, even from something so morbid it makes them sick?

One word - Drama

We love drama. We watch it on television, see it at the movies, some of us even find it in our own lives. Oh hell, who am I kidding, we all have drama in our lives.

Where I like to find drama, outside of my own life, is in the books I read. Everyone likes to get to know a character in a book and then read about just how that character works their way through all the problems caused by the antagonist. Of course, we like to do this from the safety of our soft pillow in the corner, or any other place we can comfortably read.

Writers owe it to readers to provide them with a book full of drama. The writer must provide the reader with drama greater than in real life. And let me tell you, this is no easy task with all the drama in our world nowadays.

Most people associate drama with romance. I believe drama needs to be in all forms of writing - in every genre. Drama should fill the pages of a suspense novel, science fiction, or even a mystery in the same way one might see it in romance. The only difference being the method or vehicle for providing that drama.

This is an area I struggle with. In writing, I try to create a story that is plausible, believable. And, in doing so, I sometimes miss the opportunity to provide a story that goes beyond depicting life in fiction but creating a story larger than life.

So for all you writers out there struggling to provide your readers with a sense of drama as I do, just write it down. Let your imagination fly, and hold back just enough to make your readers wonder about those two ugly dancers. Make them want to see those ugly girls for themselves.

Provide them the train wreck and don't let them look away!