When we write, anything can happen. Literally. The Martians could land tomorrow. The sky could turn black and the clouds could hail frogs and pennies from heaven, refrigerators, even.
That is some power we have, and I believe in it so strongly, that, especially as I get older and feel more acutely the impact my words and feelings have on others, I find myself shying away from angry, sinister or brutal plot lines in novels – I can’t handle them well, because they feel too real and close to the bone.
And because I have to make myself believe in my characters if they are to have any hope of coming alive on the page, I do like to hope for the best, see life righting itself and the good guys win the day. Some realists would say that is a sell-out, but I have to believe in good winning in the end, or I would simply lose the will to live.
Besides, I am well aware that what we believe we find evidence for. Given the way I feel about life and excavate circumstances for their meaning, I have to find the best in all things, even on body swerve days. I don’t see it as part of my job to add to the grief, trauma or bad news out in the world.