Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Such A Thing As Too Much Conflict

Conflict is one topic about YA (Young Adult) writing I’d like write about. Usually, with writing advice, the wisdom is to make the stakes/conflict clear. And that’s generally good advice. However, sometimes people don’t realize there’s such a thing as too much conflict. Not every area of plot needs to have conflict. And that’s particularly true with a romance. Sometimes conflict doesn’t’ have to come to from romance, and can come from other areas of plot. And to illustrate my example, I’m going to use a television show (Days of our Lives). TV and books are different mediums, but there are still overlapping elements about storytelling. Anyway, to illustrate my point, I’m going to discuss why WilSon (Will and Sonny) should be endgame on Days of our Lives, not Horita (Will and Paul):

1. Wilson Has A Child Together.
Yes. Having a child doesn’t always mean a couple should be together since a relationship or marriage could be toxic. That isn’t the case with WilSon, though. Whether it is with Chandler Massey’s version of Will Horton or Guy Wilson’s version of Will Horton, Will and Sonny have been through so much together ever since their daughter (Ari) was born. Like deaths, getting married, rough patches, good times, and other drama. So, if that doesn’t spell supercouple, then I don’t know what does.

2. Horita Is Forced.
If nobody else will say it, I will. Horita is happening with the majority of people not wanting it. The only reason Will is with Paul is because of his amnesia. So, if it takes amnesia to get a couple together, then perhaps it’s time to realize how the couple isn’t a good idea. Even the Horita sex scenes feel forced since one of their bedroom moments was clumsy with regards to a shirt being taken off.

3. Conflict Doesn’t Have To Come From Romance.
Yes. Days of our Lives would be boring without conflict. However, there is such a thing as too much conflict. Almost every character has been involved in a love triangle over the last few months, and that fact is boring. For example, Will and Sonny could start over as friends and slowly build romantic tension between them without Paul complicating things. Or maybe they could’ve easily dived into the romance, yet Will remains hesitant about having sex with Sonny. Those are just a couple of possibilities, but the point is the Horita versus WilSon love triangle isn’t offering viewers anything new, and feels stale.

4. Paul Wouldn’t Pursue Will If He Really Loved Sonny.
Days of our Livesviewers can’t forget about PaulSon (Paul and Sonny). They finally rekindled their relationship when Sonny returned to town a long time after Will died in October of 2015.  Therefore, Paul and Sonny really got time to explore their relationship (they were going to get married) before the news about Will being alive was revealed). And Paul was devastated when Sonny dumped him once everyone knew Will was alive. So, fans can’t help wondering if Paul is with Will because he’s mad at Sonny, and a secret part of him wants Sonny to suffer. Ultimately, the truth is in the subtext—not every fact is always spelled out for fans.

5. Will And Paul Have No Chemistry.
The idea might seem odd, yet it’s true. Will and Paul have a lot of sex scenes, but that’s almost all they do. It’s not like there’s a believable reason to ship them. Honestly, I’m tired of Days of our Livesusing sex to prop up Horita. Sure. Sex is a natural part of life, but if that’s the only thing keeping Horita together, then that’s toxic. Sex does not equal a relationship.

6. Will And Paul Hate Each Other.
Chandler Massey might’ve returned to playing Will, but Days of our Livesfans can’t forget about Guy Wilson’s portrayal of Will from January of 2014 to October of 2015. Guys Wilson’s version of Will eventually grew to hate Paul as a result of Will being jealousy that Paul would cost him his marriage to Sonny. And that kind of history can’t be forgotten—especially when it happened over months, as opposed to a fleeting moment. Ignoring history isn’t smart writing; it’s lazy writing. It pushes the issue of believability, which says something since Days of our Livesis a soap opera, and has more latitude with high-concept plots.

7. Paul Is Taking Advantage Of Will’s Amnesia.
Sure. Will’s amnesia is different than his cousin’s (Abigail’s) DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder), but it still counts as a medical condition that impacts Will’s life. The reality is, Paul doesn’t have to gaslight Will for him to be taking advantage. As previously mentioned in this article, the amnesia is the only reason why Paul and Will are together.

8. Paul Lied About Will Being Dead.
It might’ve only been for 24 hours during an episode this past November, but the lie still counts. It wasn’t like Paul lied to Sonny, Sami, Marlena, and John to spare their feelings. Nope. This was a big lie, and reinforces how Paul can’t be trusted.

9. Will Has Been Isolated Ever Since He Started “Dating” Paul.
Yup. Will hasn’t been spending much time with his friends or family members because of Paul—it always comes back to Horita always being in bed. And that’s not healthy. Will was never isolated from his family members and friends when he dated and subsequently married Sonny.

10. Will Can’t Even Call Paul His Boyfriend.
In a rare recent scene with his friend, Gabi (and mother of their child, Ari), Will couldn’t even call Paul his boyfriend. And that is kind of strange considering all the sex Horita has had over the last few months because fans can’t help thinking about the subtext of Paul not fulfilling Will if he can’t define their “relationship.”

Anyway, the point of my article is to show how there’s such a thing as too much conflict. Sometimes, there’s enough conflict without adding drama to the romance, and romance can just be a steady forward trajectory, and the stakes can arise from other plot areas.


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