once upon a time—
except that’s not true, because this story
is still happening, so let me start over.
there’s a girl who lives in a small town
who is afraid of falling and snakes and thunder and love and
commitment and herself and gas stations.
this is a good premise for a character because
you can already see her problem: she’s going to fall in love.
there’s a boy because there is always a boy.
this boy is in love with music and leaving.
let’s call him Q, and let’s call the girl G and let’s say
that G is in love with Q but she’s not sure if
he’s a person or an ideal, and he might be horrible
as both but she loves him for his smile and his eyes
and she’s young enough to think that that’s enough.
spoiler alert: it’s not enough.
now, let’s give G some flaws because every good character has flaws.
let’s say she laughs a bit too loudly and her eyes are close together
and she has no sense of rhythm and she’s a poet and
she has to remind herself to care about other people
and she looks terrible in a bathing suit.
let’s give Q some virtues so that the audience
can understand why G loves him: so let’s say he laughs easily,
he’s always travelling new places,
he has a tragic history that makes him a better person,
he plays several instruments, speaks several languages,
cares about his family more than anything and
his eyes are blue.
the setting is a small town where it’s seventy-five degrees in winter
and nothing really happens.
the story spans thirteen years, but tragically,
G doesn’t realize she’s in love until there’s only three years
left and she’s living inside of a time bomb.
now, here’s the plot. here’s the problem. here’s the part
that makes G hang her head in despair and the audience
to start questioning rather or not G and Q will be happy together
by the thirteenth year.
here’s the twist, here’s the secret: G is a gun.
G is a gun and she’s tired and she doesn’t want to kill any more people,
And worse than that, G is a broken gun
which sometimes backfires and makes
her clutch the toilet bowl in the middle of the night
or cut the too soft, too much skin of her stomach.
now let’s try and predict the future.
let’s say that G hurts Q, but he moves on because
there are always more girls. Q finds a girl
with blue eyes like him, or brown eyes or green eyes
and this girl will make him smile but most importantly,
this girl will make him want to stay.
the lesson learned from this is that G cannot make Q happy.
and of course, that broken girls do not make good love stories
now let’s say that a year has passed.
and let’s say that in that year nothing has changed.
let’s say that there has been no character development
and G’s eyes are still too close together and she’s
still afraid of commitment and thunder.
let’s say that she feels like she’s thirteen years old again and
just realizing that she