29 February, 2012

Once Upon A Blue Moon

Writers' Wednesday!!!

Happy Leap Year Hump Day, dear readers.  The extra day falls on Wednesday only once every 28 years.  That means that most of us will only see it three times and a lucky few, four.

So...  what does that mean?  Absolutely nothing.  It's another mark on a yardstick made by mankind to make up for our inefficiencies (<-strange.  a word that violates "i before e except after c twice.") at establishing a calendar that accurately measures events in the natural world.  So much for the metric system.

But...  what if it wasn't?  As humans we have an innate fascination with rare events.  The fewer the opportunities to witness the event, the more precious they are.  We know just enough about the natural world to know how little control we have over it.  That may frighten us, excite us, or inspire us.

I'm steering the conversation toward the inspirational spectrum.  As writer's, we can draw so many stories just from our birthright as a sentient species that can't tell time.

How often does the Winter Solstice coincide with a new moon?  How often are babies born to cancer survivors broke down on Underhill Road outside of the Quabbin Reservoir in Massachusetts because of an inexplicable electrical malfunction during a new moon on the Winter Solstice?

What kind of life would that baby have?  What kind of life would the parents want him/her to have?  What kind of life would a group of nutjobs that think the baby's a punctual messiah want?

You know...  as an example.  Temporal conflicts/climaxes don't have to be the focal point of your story to have a powerful effect.

Please resist the temptation to contrive your way out of a plot hole by using them.  Better to use them as a dire deadline that can't be extended or negotiated with.

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