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Writing Lectures/Objectives Twenty-Four and Twenty-Five
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Doing the Right Thing – Not There Yet

After the CC has that life changing event and resolves to get his or her life in order, the awareness settles in that this is the right thing to do.  There was a situation comedy on TV awhile back where the CC has done some bad things in life and when he hits the Lotto, he resolves to go back and set things right.  He makes a list of all the mean spirited schemes he has been part of and all the people he's hurt. With his sidekick, he sets about righting the wrongs of a lifetime.  The humor comes from seeing the before and now snapshot.  Nobody wants to take him seriously.

The theme of redemption is a strong one and can be found in most stories that follow the traditional model.  Think about all those movies and books you read.  Readers and audiences simply love it and connect with a hero or heroine who is trying to make things right.  Usually, for most of the story, the CC is caught up in the quest, taking one step forward and two steps back, getting knocked down by adversity and finally triumphing.

A writer needs to milk this tried and true thematic formula.  People love it.  The second part to it is the struggle to become the new person they have resolved to become.  The consumers are continuously assessing how well the CC is doing, smug in the certainty they could do better in his or her shoes.  Why don't they try this or that? the reader thinks. That will never work! the audience laments.  This is the response the writer is working to achieve. The better the job, the better the read.  Slowly, what needs to be seen emerging is a better CC, who's a huge improvement over the article the audience was first exposed to.  The final test comes, of course, in the climax where redemption is achieved, and good triumphs over evil. 

Now to some, this cookie cutter approach is trite and not to be viewed as a serious literary undertaking.  BALONEY!  Before you consider yourself too sophisticated, make sure you can do the basic stuff.  Picasso could paint a realistic picture when he had a mind to. 

To start with, get a command of the basics! 

Percy Goodfellow - Workshop Instructor
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