life is like a box of chocolates … without nuts
(originally posted 9/1/2013)
I’m had a great idea for a story but there was a problem. Not with the idea, it was something else. The idea for the story was sound. I’m would write about someone just all of a sudden leaving everything behind and starting a run similar to the one in Forrest Gump. I’m wouldn’t know where to begin with all the ways to describe life’s rich pageant through the various clichés and metaphors a run like that would provide.
But there was the problem.
I’m always wrote from a male perspective. I’m never tried to see things from a female standpoint and it was beginning to get pretty conspicuous. So I’m decided that this would be the story. I’m wrote as if I’m were a female. If it were true that you could discover a lot about a person by walking a mile in their shoes, just imagine what I’m would learn by taking a journey like this wearing the skin of a woman.
It started easily enough. It made no difference the sex of the person when it came to the allure of just dropping everything and beginning a run to parts unknown. Even though I’m wasn’t a female, it didn’t take any estrogen to see the pressures of the world weigh equally heavy on their shoulders.
But what about their breasts?
I’m wondered whether the main character would need to begin the run wearing a sports bra or not. Could a woman run in a regular bra or would her breasts be flopping around the whole time?
Right off the bat I’m had issues. I’m fixed this particular one by giving her very small breasts. This, in turn, opened up a whole new can of worms. Or would it be a can of tuna? I’m worried that worms might seem a tad phallic. Anyway, was this why she was discontent with her life? Her A cups?
I’m tried to look past the breast issue and start to build the plot. The back story and the various issues that she would have to face.
There were a lot of things glossed over in the Forrest Gump run. One minute he’s barreling down his driveway and the next he’s standing on the opposite side of the country with a big scraggly beard. The movie never went into any detail about how he afforded food or where he went to the toilet. Another elephant in that room is the fact that after a few hours most people wouldn’t be able to put one foot in front of the other let alone run and run and run. Most people would be coughing up blood after ten minutes.
And speaking of blood … what if she was menstruating when she started her journey? I’m knew very little about that stuff. After a few hours would the tampon be able to handle things or would she start to leave a trail behind her? That might be fun and games in the suburbs but once she entered bear territory it might be something else entirely. To say nothing of badgers.
The story, despite all of the available metaphors, began to get bogged down. I’m simply didn’t know enough about women. Their physiology. Their psychology.
How would I’m have her deal with all the upcoming trials and tribulations without knowing how she would deal with all the upcoming trials and tribulations?
Most writers would have panicked and returned to the firm footing of writing from a male perspective, but I’m was made of sterner stuff. I’m kept the pen pressed to the paper and wondered how the writers of Forrest Gump imagined that Forrest picked up followers in his jog across the country. How would anyone have known? To most eyes he would have just looked like a homeless guy out for stroll.
And how would a woman react if someone started following her? I’m felt the pen tremble ever so slightly on the page as I’m tried to decide between making the character so unattractive as to remove the fear of being brutally raped on the side of some desolate highway or go entirely in the other direction and have her be smoking hot in short shorts. Those were the only options that I’m knew. It wasn’t that I’m lacked the imagination to explore the territory in between those extremes, it was just that I’m had never actually met a woman falling into that category to provide a frame of reference.
I’m began to realize why I’m never wrote from a female point of view. I’m might as well be writing from the point of view of an alien that crash landed on the planet moments before deciding to haul ass across it.
Now there was an idea…
Maybe even a female alien …
In short shorts.