For the past few days, my thoughts – like many people’s – have been with the people of Japan. It’s hard enough to imagine living through such destruction, but to have nuclear reactors as an extra threat is something else. Everyone is hoping for the best possible outcome.
As a writer though every disaster that comes, whether natural or man-made, sparks my brain to think of the worst scenario. When you write you are always looking for extra conflict – extra drama – and regardless of whether this comes naturally to you or it’s something you’ve learnt, it is hard not to apply it to real life.
Along-side my writer’s pessimism, though, is a kind of faith in humanity that we so often write about in fiction – how we get through these terrible disasters. When you think of the area hit by cyclone Katrina, the many countries effected by the Boxing Day tsunami and those hit by quakes in Haiti and New Zealand, as well as our flooded regions here in Oz, it’s amazing how humans and human societies deal with disaster and rebuild afterwards.
I’m sure Japan will be no exception.
And isn’t that why we throw conflict, disaster and threat at our characters when we write fiction? So we can show how they come out on top in the end.