For a while now I’ve had this theory that everyone is part of a plot. No I’m not paranoid.
By plot, I mean story, novel, blockbuster movie. For instance, someone I know seems to be in the ‘hardworking mum struggles uphill against the current of life, failing again and again, until…’ movie (think Helen Hunt in As Good as it Gets, Demi Moore in Strip Tease), while another hapless friend could be the star of Forrest Gump. Parts of my life have been Jane Eyre (without the happy ending or miserable beginning, just the middle bit where Rochester calls out ‘Jane! Jane!) and other parts The Getting of Wisdom (dumb kid tries to be popular and falls flat on her face, thus learning…not to).
So I was thinking, suppose you CHOOSE your plot rather than be just accept the cosmic director’s casting choices. For a writer, that should be particularly easy – just write your own. So if your life is beginning to look like Les Miserables, start turning the plot towards something more cheerful, like, say, The Three Musketeers (for which you’ll need two good friends), or, at least make people laugh (Analyse That?).
The hard part is trying to identify, firstly, WHICH part you’re playing (for instance, are you acting Julia in Pretty Woman or Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?) and secondly, which PART of the story you’re currently playing (for instance, in some stories you may be in the middle, having a good time, not knowing that by the end everybody is going to be slaughtered by psychos, whereas in others – say, Great Expectations – things may look very bad to start with but you’re going to end up rich and in possession of a toothsome Victorian girlfriend.
If only those people in films and books could hear us when we say ‘don’t jump off that bridge – your rich long lost uncle is about to turn up and take you off to his sunny mansion in California’ or conversely ‘don’t go and have a picnic in that deserted graveyard, I know it looks fun now but you won’t think so when zombies are eating your tonsils.’ Or, if only we could hear THEM.
“I’ve BEEN in that plot, and I’m telling you now, it don’t end pretty!”