Angels, thefts, stories and questions for you
My very short story, The Angel in the Car Park is now live over at Rainy City Stories. This makes me happy because Rainy City Stories is a project I think is really cool (and has an editor who has been a dream to work with).
And I have a confession. I stole the title. There’s a story in Tania Hershman’s
exceptionally wonderful collection
called the Angel in the Car Park (which is also exceptionally wonderful) and it inspired me. So thanks to Tania for that (who, again, for the record, is exceptionally wonderful also).
(This act of theft has actually given birth to a very cool and top secret project of my own. If you’re lucky, and if you’re good, then maybe, one day, I shall tell you more about it.)
And now a question.
I was with friends a couple of evenings ago, both of whom are considerable movie buffs. They know their stuff.
They’d been to see a film and had been disappointed with it. This led to a discussion during which one of them critisised the ending for being depressing. He said, when we go to the cinema we don’t want to be depressed. And then he said, ‘Or do we?’ – and reeled off a list of great films which were not joyous in theme.
The following day I read something I’d recently written to my writing group. It’s a short piece and it starts of being quite funny. And then it plummets in mood and the ending is, well, not one to leave you grinning – and I think it left the group collectively feeling sad. It’s also an ending which I absolutely believe is right for the piece.
So it got me thinking. Not in too much depth, but thinking all the same. As writers, as artists, whatever, are we guilty of not thinking too much of what an audience wants? Or is it our job to give them something different?
The way I see it, most of people’s most memorable films or books, the ones people tend to find the most affecting ARE sad. So is sadness done well better (for want of a better word) than something cheery? And are people less likely to buy a book or go to see a film which sounds miserable or tragic?
Now, I have my own opinions on this (a story is what it is, and should be delivered in the best and most effective way) – but I’d love to know what you folks think.
So, over to you…