I think we all saw the video on social media with the guy driving and looking at the hills of Los Angeles burn like it’s Mordor.
If you haven’t seen it, I suggest you take a look. When I first saw it I honestly didn’t think it was real. I live in Washington now but in all of my forty years in Southern California I had never seen anything close to it. Just bonkers.
From the video you can’t tell if anybody is panicking or even thinking about the fires that are no more than, it looks like a few hundred yards away. We’re talking one of the biggest fires in history and these people are rolling down the freeway, nicely spaced, seemingly driving the speed limit. Nobody pulls over to take a better look. No fender benders to report. Just, basically, there’s nothing to see here.
I thought about how I would write this scene if it were fiction. If I described the blaze and then described there being no panic, readers might think it an ironic comedy of sorts. Other writers would say how unbelievable it is and that I needed to show more visceral reactions. Some would go as far as to claim it’s unbelievable.
As writers we blow things out of proportion to create a scene or a vibe, and then we wonder why people don’t take our writing seriously.Read More