DUMB ASS MISTAKES
We're trying to calibrate some of the stories in Exposure
. One of the difficulties in writing as a parent and a 40-mphmble-year-old is that you've seen where mistakes lead and you try hard not to make them. You're more thoughtful and wise than you were twenty years ago.
However, your characters can't be, or there's no story. On the one hand you don't want them to behave unforgivably, on the other hand if they don't screw up, there's no story. When you're my age, you've learned to communicate, hopefully. But so many mistakes people make in real life come from not enough or bad communication. If you aren't willing to let your characters screw up, you're going to have a lot of stories where characters just can't get along. And those can get tiresome. Now and then you just want someone to fall asleep at the wheel. After all, we've all driven a little too tired, and imagined what would happen if we fell asleep at the wheel. People love stories that show them what could have happened if they'd been a little less careful or a little less lucky, just as they love stories that show them what could have happened if they'd been a little more brave or a little more lucky. That's one of the reasons they watch stories: they want to see what coulda woulda shoulda.
I think you're underestimating the number of older people who make dumbass mistakes. Even the ones who are 40-mphmble-year-old. Maybe you don't make them anymore, but lots of people do.
I imagine that's one of those things that can slip by you pretty easily. It's that whole "Well, this is what I'd do" rather than "Well, this is what they'd do". I think your lesson goes beyond just the page as I try to rationalize the behaviors of certain girlfriends. ;p
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