Monday, February 4, 2013

Opposites Attract

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It is a force of nature that opposites attract. We see this in magnets and on the molecular level between protons and electrons. We see it in relationships too. The perfect example is my husband and me. I can say this because we are the perfect couple and in many ways we are opposites. Yes, I am a planner and he is more spontaneous, but there's more to it than that.

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My husband is outdoorsy. He likes hiking and backpacking, camping, skiing, hunting, windsurfing (in his youth), and all manner of being outside. I, on the other hand, view the outdoors as that place I briefly passed through going from one temperature-controlled bug-free environment to another. I will admit, however, to having enjoyed sitting outside with a pitcher of sangria or dining al fresco in the evening, as long as it's not too hot or too buggy.

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Hubby is also a morning person and I am a night person. He is up right at dawn, feet on the floor ready to start the day beginning with breakfast. I prefer sleeping in a little past sun up, then into the shower, have coffee and look for brunch. At night, my husband is ready to go to sleep shortly after sundown (I exaggerate), about 9:30 and I am looking to go do something fun. For those of you a certain age, the television show Green Acres should instantly pop into your heads. It's terrific because it works for us.

Opposites not only attract but they are attractive. How many times have we turned our heads for a double-take when we see a very tall person with a short person, even more fun if it is a tall woman with a short man. Even bi-racial couples still turn heads. There is a popular breakfast cereal that has made a commercial about opposites being attractive. Opposition is not bad. It is the whole Yin-Yang of the universe that actually binds us together. Opposites are not conflicting, but complimentary. They give us a different point of view, humor, and sometimes, just something different to think about. That's what makes them so attractive.

It works in writing. How many times have we enjoyed a book that made us think about something different? How often has an author employed the use of paradox to highlight a scene? Isn't there a protagonist and an antagonist? What about the opposition that is within all of us? Shouldn't that natural state also show up in our characters? Revisions are imminent and opposites must be included to keep the story strong and natural and attractive.

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