Over the past few weeks I've had the opportunity to reconnect with actors I've worked with in the past. Although we spent the majority of our time rehearsing, there were stories told. Actors love to tell stories about past productions; but the stories that get told over and over again are the stories where something went wrong.
Telling a story of everyone getting along, the rehearsals going smoothly, and the show being a huge hit are informative, but also quickly forgotten. Imagine writing a plot in which your protagonist quickly identifies their goal and achieves it just as smoothly. Who would read such a book?
We need to remember to throw obstacles at our characters. Let them slip on a banana peel or fall in love with a poor choice of partner or get stuck at the bottom of a hole. Perfect characters are perfectly dull.
The stories that last, the stories that get retold, are the ones where even though things go wrong, people persevere, wipe the mud off and make it to that final curtain.