After a peaceful two month stay in Fire Island, Hurricane Isaias threatened Fire Island. We were cautioned to batten down our houses, evacuate, and generally frightened out of our wits. I blame this high level of panic to the general state of the world that’s been created by the pandemic.
There was a bad storm here a year ago, and the same precautions were taken, but the atmosphere was one of “We’ve got this,” not hysteria.
I love storms, but they even had me scared, but I decided to stay and tough it out.
Monday afternoon, fierce winds blew and it rained in sheets. I put on rain gear and walked the block to the ocean. When I got to the steps of the ladder leading down to the beach, a great gust of wind almost blew me down the stairs. No way to get the phone out to take photos. The water roiled and threw huge white-capped waves on the shore. I watched as the waves crashed up across the sand almost up to the steps where I stood. The winds were howling, it was pouring – and fun! When I got blown off the stairs onto the sand, it was time to go and get back to writing.
In The 4 Magic Questions of Screenwriting, in Act 2, part 2, the goal is to get our characters in an impossible position where they must make a noble choice and risk death to achieve their goals. Even Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz takes the risk of being killed by the Wicked Witch of the West to save her friends. Question three in the 4MQS is: “Who or what would my main character “die” for?” The word, “die” is in quotes because it denotes change, not necessarily a literal death.
There is no denying that this pandemic is a scourge on the whole planet, but the point of life is to live it, not to live in fear of dying from it, and to express our personal freedom. In my upcoming webinar on the 12th, we’ll be talking about writing stories about the pandemic and I hope you’ll join me in this interesting exploration of what really matters in life.
Professor Marilyn Horowitz