July 17, 2009

The desire and the obstacle

Reading about the Spanish director, Luis Buñuel at Jai Arjun's fabulous blog, I was led to these words from an older post in which he writes about a conversation he had with Jean-Claude Carriere, the celebrated French author, playwright and scriptwriter, who had collaborated with Buñuel.

Jai Arjun quotes Carriere:
 "The advice I give students who are just starting out and want to know how to develop a story – or at least get the starting point for it –– is: take a person or a group of people, make them desire something, and then introduce an obstacle to that desire," he says. "Some of the world's greatest stories have been built on these simple elements: the desire and the obstacle."
Indeed! For life is like that -- a continuous struggle between out desires and obstacles. And to capture the heart-break and also the ecstacy of occasionally winning this struggle is what good story writers do well. Think, Alice Munro.

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