Our Need for Drama in Books
Bob woke up. It was a beautiful day. His wife had breakfast ready for him. He loved her dearly. He drove to work in his corvette. He arrived at work. The job was really easy and he got paid extremely well, so well that his car and house were completely paid off and he went on vacation every month with his beautiful wife and 3 well behaved kids. He took a 5 hour lunch break and went home after the work day to a wonderful dinner and went to bed, falling asleep as his wife gave him a backrub. THE END.
If you managed to choke through that horrible story and are still reading, you’ll now see why I say that humans crave drama.
My story about Bob had no drama. His life was perfect. He had everything he wanted and didn’t have to work hard for it. As a reader, you might find that unrealistic. Further, you probably thought, “What the heck was the point? Bob didn’t do anything.”
Why do writers slave over months and years to write a book, why do readers crave to read what they write? Harry Potter. Game of Thrones. The Hunger Games. Why do we love them so much?
We love them because we love to be emotionally jarred. I don’t care if you are a peace-loving, God-fearing saint, you love drama.
I can prove this because since Adam and Eve, the world has gone through periods of war and periods of peace, over and over; through the bible, through our own recorded history, and in our individual lives. It’s impossible for humans to maintain the same homeostasis. We war because we have this deep need to shake up our emotions. We have peace because our emotions need a break. And then we want them shaken up again. This cycle has been revolving since Cain killed his brother and to this day where many countries threaten with war. We’ve had our time of peace. We can’t maintain the same homeostasis forever.
We write this drama into books, we read this drama in books. Have you ever gotten bored and then done something that got you into trouble? Did you HAVE to choose an activity that got you into trouble? Why didn’t you wash the dishes or draw a picture instead?
Why do we ride roller coasters, sky dive, swim with the sharks? Because we all want to FEEL something, and those adrenaline rushes create a temporary dramatic event in our lives. You won’t be bored on a roller coaster, but you likely will doing the dishes.