Do you remember the moment in The Matrix where Keanu Reeves is standing on the ledge of a ridiculously high building and glances down at the drop?
This randomly entered my mind today, and I’ve been chewing on it ever since. I don’t remember exactly where Keanu Reeves is in the story, but I remember the shot. Vividly.
When this happens I don’t revisit the movie for answers. No way. I’ve learned to stay away as far as possible, at least in this stage. It’s important I protect my original window in. But I’ve been here before, and I know myself well enough not to ignore these kind of bursts. The lady up there in the attic, puffing away on her cigar, has given me a clue.
You see, the perfect story already exists.
Like a fossil deep underground, waiting to be discovered.
Finding the perfect story is like being an archeologist, carefully dusting away the coarse desert sand. Patiently and painstakingly, I brush away the debris to find the truth, whatever that may be.
When you realize the story is about preserving what is already there, something wonderful happens – it no longer becomes about you.
I believe good storytellers are in fact, stewards. Our job is to protect the fossil, the perfect story, already preserved. We are not the creators, merely her servants.
Which brings me to my next thought in regards to the clue.
An antagonist can be a person or character. (Like a bad guy from a comic book or think Darth Vader in Star Wars). Or the antagonist can be the elements, like man on a deserted island (Think Cast Away), or man against himself (Inception).
Or it can be something imminent … like death. (Keanu Reeves standing on the ledge in The Matrix). The antagonist pushes our hero up against something, where he or she is forced to make a choice.
To summarize, I think I’ve cracked my cookie. Hallelujah. I’ll be writing the treatment for THE UNTITLED MIND BENDER tomorrow. Nothing like a deadline to get you to commit. Ha
Remember, it’s not about us. It’s about protecting the dig, and preserving the evidence before us.
Has there been a time when you have you protected the truth? How did it feel when it came to light, knowing you were apart of that process? I think this is one of the best things about being a human being. We have the opportunity to be truth seekers, no matter what profession we’re in.
Which is really about integrity.
x and tales,
PS, I love words.
Steward – a person whose responsibility it is to take care of something
Antagonist – a person who actively opposes or is hostile to someone or something; a substance that interferes with or inhibits the physiological action of another