This is either our intrepid photographer, Andif, or our intrepid photographer's intrepid husband, Jim. Andi, is this near Lake Powell? And who is that orange dot and why is he/she wearing a life jacket to swim in rocks?
There's something about this wonderful photo that makes me think a writing thought. I've been reading a little book, a "meditation," about the killing of the Amish girls in that schoolhouse a couple of years ago, remember that? The motives given for the man who killed them and himself were: a.) that years ago he may have molested other girls and was now feeling irresistible urges to do it again; and b.) that he was furious at god for the death of a baby daughter several years before, and he wanted to show god how pain felt. Well, here's the writing thought: as a motive for a murder in a novel, I could buy (a), but not (b). (Actually, I don't buy it as a motive in real life, either.) I do not know of a single novelist who could write a story with god as the villian and make me believe it--unless God is like the God of the Book of Job, and sits and has amusing conversations with that Satan fellow next door.
There's a truism in novel writing that you shouldn't make your villain something abstract, like "nature," or "the government," or the weather, or god. Any of those things could be a malevolent force in a novel, but it's generally believed that you have to give them a human face. There has to be a malevolent and very specific human bureaucrat, for instance, to represent the evil government, because readers can't easily relate to "characters" that aren't human, unless they're given humanoid traits--as in Hal the computer in "2001: a Space Odessey," or the Cylons in "Battlestar Gallactica." If the villain is an animal or a plant, the human characters have to project human traits onto them. Etc. It is not necessary to agree with this, but it is probably necessary to *do* it in order to get published. If you can think of any exceptions to this "rule," fire away.
That's it, that's my writing thought inspired by the little orange human figure in the big rocky room. It's the little human who draws our attention and makes us curious.
::Everybody wave at the little human!::