A wise old man once said that “arguing with a fool only proves that there are two.”
I came across this video a few days ago and I have played it about ten times since. When you are a writer, you never simply watch things and move on. If you are anything like me, then everything you come across in life gets analysed to death.
So, what do I like about the hapless wildebeest and their short but funny show…
I like the fact that it is short, and yet still manages to be powerful.
This got me thinking about long stories and short stories. I have read books of all lengths. I am just as comfortable with a well structured novella, as I am with the epic ten book series you can get in the fantasy fiction genre. I have seen both good and bad examples of both – the novella where you think ‘erm, where’s the rest of the story?’ and the fat novel that waffles on and on with out making any credible progress until you just want to shake the hero or heroine by the neck and demand they make a decision – anything just to move the damn story along.
I also like the fact that it is funny, and yet that does not detract from the depth of its sentiments.
I have read books from nearly every genre, and there is nothing more powerful than books that manage to make us both laugh and cry. I do like moody books, dark books even, and sometimes comedy is just never going to fit. When it does fit, and we balance the fun with a deeper message / theme / whatever it is you are trying to convey – then you have something very special.
Finally, this makes me think about people.
Sometimes when you read a book (or write a book), you stop and think ‘why on earth did they do that – that is stupid’, but we forget, that in life people (and wildebeests) can, and often are, blessed with moments of extreme and unfathomable stupidity.
It was writing a scene not long ago and someone did something ‘foolish’. After, I procrastinated the scene. Was it credible? In character? Can intelligent people have moments of ‘crazy’? Can our less mentally astute have moments of ‘genius’?
Throwing the odd spanner at our characters is what makes them interesting.
And sometimes you just need a little stupid doing what it does best.