Jan 14, 2011

Nature writes conflict scenes

The white-peaked roof is where we bought ice-cream in December,
while visiting my dad.

As writers we try to come up with the strongest themes and story-lines. Add conflict. Create tension. But no matter how creative we are, nature always seems to create a bigger, scarier scene with all the conflict you could ever imagine. It always manages to surprise and frighten me.

I always thought floods were slow moving events. The water gradually rises until it blocks of roads or fills your house, wrecking your carpet. I never understood that it could rush through a town wiping out everything in its path without notice. I've been shocked by the destruction, but mostly by the loss of life. There have been some tragic stories, and some very heroic ones. I've heard of people managing to save lives, only to lose their own. Parents sacrificing their safety for their children. It's heart-wrenching and I don't think you could ever 'create' characters like this. I'm sad for the survivors and proud of them.

As my dad's place has no power (he's up on a hill, so his house is fine, but just down the street the shops are underwater), he's been spending his spare moments writing (good on ya' Dad). He's about to become very busy in his neighbouring towns with the clean-up.

There are a lot of people helping out at this time and I found a Facebook group of writers doing their bit:
I thought I'd post the link because they will be holding an auction filled with books, writing and editing services - so you might find some useful goodies there!

Do you think fiction can ever capture the level of conflict that nature can create or the characters that emerge from these tragedies?


  1. it's horrible what's happening with those floods Down Under. Nature has gone crazy lately. Here in my country we had terrible earthquakes this winter, there were snowstorms all around the world ... crazy things, crazy times ....

  2. I can't imagine what people are going through. My thoughts go out to them. I will check out the website and do what I can.

  3. I've been thinking of you, and all the people of Australia. My prayers are with you. Thanks for the link. I'll check it out and try to help.

  4. I'm glad your dad is high and safe and am so sorry there is so much destruction around him. I think nature really DOES create bigger stuff than books really deal with because to write it seems overdone, yet that is how it happens.

    Very cool that writers are pitching in to help.

  5. My brother lives in Brisbane but luckily on high ground. I've been praying for all the people affected by the floods.

    I do believe fiction writers can capture the level of conflict nature can cause, but I think to do it properly they need a deep understanding of it -- If the writer hasn't experienced it for themselves then they would need to do lots of research.

  6. My mother in law was a flood survivor in 1953. The UK was hit badly. It is dreadful watching the news reports of the present floods in Australia. I hope your father stays safe and well.

    It is the after effects, the clean up and diseases that follow that must be dreadful. To lose your home and belongings, then to have those added stresses.

    Nature wins the prize, how can a writer capture the emotions people are suffering over there. My heart goes out to them.

    I wrote my mil's story if you are interested.