Showing posts from November, 2006


If I remember correctly, the term from screenwriting class was ethical mode of action . To get it, you take a character and push him, and then push him a little more until he is quite uncomfortable, and then you sit back and watch what he does. His behavior in this extreme moment of his life defines his future existence for you. And hopefully it will prove you've concocted a person with the strength of will to stand up to the empire, or whatever it is you want him to do. Discovering elements of one's own ethical mode of action is a lot less fun. My discovery began this way: Enter a windswept,autumn night. A few sprinklings of drops, the hint of a rainstorm. Make it late for a work night- 9 or so o'clock. Add a good amount of crappy-job fatigue, accelerated by the knee-snapping speedwalk of a greenpointer with a half a mile still to go. Make sure it's just late enough that moving the car is going to take some time, and then throw in, just for fun, the discovery of a pile