DargonZine 30, Issue 1

Dargonzine 30-1 Editorial

Some folks say that variety is the spice of life, and if so, then it’s a variety of beliefs that create the spice of drama. After all, if everyone believed the same things, then everyone would get along, mostly, and there would be less conflict. And without conflict, there is no story to tell. Conflict isn’t just saying A versus B, however – in literature, you have to build believability behind the conflict, and put into perspective why a person does what they do. And the reality of it is, people do what they want to do, despite what might be the “right” thing to do. Individuals perceive what the “right” thing is based on their beliefs, and also based on their desires. That is how a story begins.
From a hypothetical perspective, you know its right to return a wallet to someone who you saw drop it. But what if that person immediately got into a car and drove away … do you still try to return it? Do you just drop it into a mailbox and say you’re done with it? Do you check for ID? Do you take a quick look through it to see if there’s any cash in it? Did that person look like he really needed all the money in the wallet? Are you financially strapped, and can really use the extra $50 to help buy groceries for your family? Will that person then come back and see you taking money out of his wallet? Is there someone nearby who will report you? Does that person have a grudge against you? Is that grudge based on a bitter romantic history? Will that person now tell on you, or take note of your actions to use at a later date? Are you even aware that person saw you do it? That is how stories evolve.
Conflict is based on actions that may not be “right” from a moral perspective, but seem to be the “correct” action to take, as determined by situation, understanding, history, and personal desire – not just the actions your main characters take, but the actions of the characters around them as well. Each character must be seen as a living, breathing entity with its own desires, background, and perspective on right and wrong, as well as personal needs at the time. I’m not going to draw any analogies to real-world political situations, because – to be honest – plenty of more notable sources are already doing it. But conflict is not just an element of storytelling; it’s also an element of growth. Without conflict, there is no reason to evaluate, review, or change. There is no push to evolve. So despite the bad things that happen – or because of them – good things can then come from conflict. It’s not guaranteed. It takes effort and commitment. But that is how evil is defeated. And that is how a story is written.
Speaking of stories, let’s get to them! We have, as usual, two tales for your entertainment in this issue. From Keith English, we have the final part of Death Blooms, his story of change and conflict both internal and external to his main character. And from Joseph Carney, the first in a trio of “Dark” stories, A Tale of Dark Revenge. As ever, please sit back, relax, and enjoy!

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