Life is good, even when we don’t know it. I watched the movie It’s a Wonderful Life with Alayna tonight. I both love and hate this movie. First, I hate it because it’s a Christmas movie, and I hate Christmas movies on principle (although It’s a Wonderful Life is a heck of a lot better than something like Elf), but also because it has some truly terrible angelology in it (a branch of theology). I love it because it makes a number of great points, perhaps the most important of which is that we often can’t see the impact we make. Most of us are so caught up in our own problems that we don’t see the impact (good, bad, or otherwise) that we have on others, and even when we do see it, we often dismiss it for something else. Further, the movie reminds us that even in our lowest moments, redemption can be had. Consider the scene where George screams at his children, ruins a teachers day, and then storms off to go get drunk and wreck his car into a town landmark. Do you think this was a high point in his life? But the movie show his apologies, his consequences, and ultimate his forgiveness. All in all, a great point that the movie makes is that this life is not about us. So, whether you think you’re the bees knees (yes, I just said bees knees), or the most pathetic, worthless schlub on the planet… how about you get over yourself and go make someone else’s day. Anyway, I have a scene challenge for you and you all should know the rules, but just in case: I provide you with specific rules for how to write a particular scene. Try to keep your scene under five hundred words, and try to keep it in the same tone as the introduction. If I give a line that is very dark and depressing, then I don’t want to see a scene about a drunken monkey in a tutu…it just doesn’t fit. If I do give you a line about a drunken monkey in a tutu, then you should probably try for a funny scene.
Your challenge: Choose one of your favorite scenes from a novel. After reading the scene a couple of times, rewrite it in your own style and voice. The characters and basic elements of the scene should remain the same, but the way it is written should reflect your voice and style of writing, rather than the original author’s. This can be very challenging, so don’t be too disappointed if you need a few tries to go it well.