When you grow up in Georgetown, Guyana, you get used to certain things: sugarcane fields, hot days, and blood-sucking, vampire bats. Tor the most part, the bats weren’t too much trouble but occasionally, they’d get into the house. My dad would go after them, broom in hand¦he’d disappear for a while, then come back with something black in his hand.
I knew what it was: his sock. He’d chase us around the house. My sister & I would squeal and shriek, screaming, œNo, Daddy! Don’t throw it”! Then, of course, he’d throw it and we’d laugh and yell as the sock hit one of us.
Even as he chased and we ran, 99% of me knew”KNEW”it was the sock¦but there was this 1% that wondered: was this finally the time Dad went all out and actually had the bat?
I’ve been watching television shows that I love and I realize there’s a 1% factor in the majority of shows I love: meaning 99% of me knows there’ll be a happy ending, but there’s the 1% that’s not sure¦I know Murdoch of Murdoch Mysteries will catch the bad guy, but how will he do it? And what of his relationship with Julia?
In other shows, the X-factor percentage is higher. For anyone watching True Blood, well, none of us are sure what’s going on with Bill and whether Sookie will get any kind of happy ending¦and I’m thinking there’s a good chance (40%, at least) that something’s about to go horribly wrong.
I think part of being a writer is knowing your writing voice, and knowing, when it comes to tension and unpredictability, what your percentage is¦are you the 1% or are you more?