Sunday, June 5, 2011

Playing to Your Audience

So, assignment 5, the last one, is to revise a previous assignment in 500 words. I decided to go with Assignment 2, about Maddie the homewrecker and Alejandro the adulterer. No one liked my characters. It's hard to be likeable when you're dating an engaged man, and the audience is all married. LOL But I like her. I want her to be likeable. A younger woman I know read my piece, and said she felt badly for Maddie. So maybe it's just that they're all old?? I really don't know.

Anyway, the point is, I revised my work. Twice.

The first time, I reworked their relationship entirely, so they were dating casually, with no strings attached anywhere. The cravat being that Maddie wanted more from the relationship that Alejandro wanted to give. Argument ensues.

The second time, I reworked the piece so the ending was very different. Maddie was still dating an engaged man, but we learn that he doesn't love her (the woman he's going to marry), doesn't want to marry her, but is. Maddie is shocked to say the least, and heartbroken for him.

I'm not sure how I feel about the casual dating rework. It feels kind of wishy washy to me. I'm not sure how to explain, but I guess it feels unreal to me, the argument feels false. Maybe that's because I've never had that particular argument.... Maybe it's because I didn't write it well. I can't really tell. Maybe it's because I know full well that I'm playing to my audience of white middle-class, conservative, married women, and it rubs me the wrong way.

I'm not why playing to my audience irks me so, but it does. It just feels so damn wrong. Though I"m sure part of it is, I really don't identify with them. I guess I am technically middle class now, but I don't feel it. I was raised by labourers, that's who I identify with, that's the kind of life I understand. I'm a practical person, but I'm also very young at heart I think. I understand that you can fall in love with someone you really shouldn't, that you can't always help it.

I want to write this story. I want to write it so badly. But I'm afraid it won't make sense, that no one will understand. That, as my husband put it, I've bitten off more than I can chew. *sigh* Maddie is so much a part of me that I can't help but love her. Heck, I even love Alejandro a little bit, and he's pretty much a jerk. I want to tell their story.... but I'm not so sure now which part of it IS a story. Blarg.

Stories, good stories, are the significant moments in people's lives. Little blocks of time, at least the ones I tend to read, where they are faced with a decision, with a change to the status quo.... I can't write them falling in love, that bit takes time. But maybe, just maybe, I can write the moment when Maddie realises she has fallen for him, and her decision process on what to do about it. Is that a story?? I'm not sure I can tell anymore.

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