When I was in the second grade I read a story called Catwings by Ursula K. Le Guin. I was deeply affected by this story and I decided to write my own Catwings tale.
I was prone to having too many interests and too little dedication. I dabbled in just about everything with the exception of mathematics. However by the time I was finishing middle school, I had a trifecta of goals: act, sing, direct. I started taking singing lessons, I started acting in plays, and I started reading scripts and attending performances. I continued to write narrative fiction like my Catwings stories; flowery stories that involved insane adventure and intense descriptions.
Then I tried to write a script, and the world started falling apart. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t write a dialouge. All of the time I’d spent quietly observing life, watching the interactions between two humans, and I couldn’t write it down in a normal and cohesive way. Nothing I created was interesting; it was horrifically boring.
Eventually I gave up. I put my playwright dreams on the dead-dream shelf and I moved on. I went back to writing wordy fiction which got me good grades in English class, and soon I started writing poetry which suited me on a whole new level.
It wasn’t until very recently that I realized why I could not write dialogue, or a play, or a script, or anything except narration: I hate conflict. I hate conflict so much I’ve done absurd things to avoid it until the very last second. I run from problems like problems are an algebra textbook, on fire, in a building occupied entirely by tarantulas and scorpions.
I couldn’t write a scene because problems and conflict and adversitiy were too real. I dealt with problems every day. My friends dealt with problems, my family dealt with problems; I was surrounded by problems and upsetting feelings. To write more of that felt ludicris and emotionally debilitating. All I wanted to write was a script in which nothing went wrong. Everything turned out perfect, and in fact, there was no problem whatsoever.
I picked up classics like Romeo and Juliet and found the plot unbearable. I started screaming at movies when characters acted stupid. If she just told him this, or if he just said what he was feeling, if that person didn’t lie about that thing….everything would be fine. What was with these idiots? If Romeo just told Juliet’s father how he felt, I’m sure those warring families could agree on some kind of monetary compensation and stop their silly feud, their children could get married, and two young people plus a cousin wouldn’t have to die.
My poetry and my fictitious prose were not utopias; I dealt with problems in an abstract literary way, something that made them less real. Movies and plays were so raw, when I read Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, I had to try and not have a breakdown.
I don’t know if I want to see a utopia movie. Picture a William Turner landscape, peaceful animals and peaceful people, no fighting, no money, and no religion too (I guess John Lennon is there).
We want to see the movie of creating this place, and the trials and philosophy that make people strive for it. People are fascinating because they get upset, shit happens, and they overcome it or they don’t. Either way, it is definitely a more interesting story.