Tuesday, January 19, 2016


I've been left alone, even by the paparazzi, because what sells is sex and scandal. Absent that, they really don't have much interest in you. I'm still married, still working, still happy.

In London, love and scandal are considered the best sweeteners of tea.

We are funny old things, we humans. The larger portion of us decry the vanity and hubris that drives others to do foul things. We scowl in moral superiority while arching our eyebrows at the scandalous as they struggle in webs of their own design. 

And yet...

We cannot look away. 

SCANDAL! The headlines cry havoc and we click the links because we...must...know. Our inner inquisitor yearns for the details that will allow us to lord ourselves over these hapless people, even if only in our minds. The thrill of shouting down Imperious Rex in his uncultured and insular views of the universe as it revolves around his perceived godhead.  The guilty pleasure of scorning those that set themselves beyond morality, only to find that their human nature has laid them low.  The satisfaction of knowing that we - those that watch with the anonymity given by our digital life - would never do anything like that, all things being equal.

So we believe.
Therein lies the crux of this discussion. To whit, what scandal lies in your story? Now, I'm not suggesting that you need telenovela levels of drama in your work (unless that's what you are writing, then surge on, my friend), but there does need to be an element or two of the scandalous. A bit of spice and color in the composition of your story. An event or a character ( I draw your attention to Medea as a prime example of both these things) that colors the narrative with their actions or an inciting event(s).

Caution, though, my dear readers. Like any spice it must be deftly used. Even a simple spice, such as pepper can ruin the meal if overused. Sparingly. Artfully. Add the elements of scandal such that it is an effective device to move the story along rather than a blunt instrument that bludgeons the reader into apathy. In short, aim for "Pride and Predjudice" or "Downton Abby" as opposed to "Days of Our Lives" or "Starship Troopers".

But then again, who doesn't love a good scandal?

No comments:

Post a Comment