In Life as it is in Fiction

When I teach characterization and plot, I tell my students this.

Whether or not a person is a hero is not determined by the small choices, the small mistakes.

It is determined by the tough choice, the action they take when it’s hard, when that person has the most to lose by doing what’s right.

That’s when they become a hero, when they can lose everything, but they make the right choice anyway.

And if they don’t make the right choice then, nothing else they did matters.

That’s what I tell my students about writing.



Filed under Sports, Writing

6 responses to “In Life as it is in Fiction

  1. Andrea

    Surprisingly, here is a man with 17 grandchildren. Where does the eyebrow furrowing end?

    • The oldest is 16 or so? How many did he have and how old were they when he allowed this to be covered up? (But honestly, a person doesn’t have to have children or grandchildren to recognize rape–any rape of any person–is evil.)

  2. This has been a horrible tragedy and certainly Joe Paterno should have done more, but I shouldn’t be seeing more criticism of Paterno in the media than of Sandusky. He told his supervisor. Yeah, he should have done a LOT more, he should have made sure the proper authorities were notified, but he is not the biggest villain here. He didn’t do the crime and I think people need to recognize it and turn their disgust toward the person who did instead of finding someone else to blame. This has been a frustration of mine with the media in general.

    • Agreed. My only point here is that when it’s hard, you make the heroic choice or you’re no hero. Nothing erases or is more important than this moment.

      First villain–Sandusky.

      Second villain–McCreary, who didn’t save that kid. I mean, my God, he saw a ten-year-old boy being raped and didn’t stop it? They both turned and saw him–what did that boy think? That somebody was going to save him? Then McCreary walked away?

      Third villain–Paterno. They all knew this had been going on before, and once it was brought to him in this way, he had to act, and that did not mean join in with the university cover up. He knew it was evil and it was wrong, and he went along with it to protect the image of Penn State and his football program. And the coverup was done in such a way to allow Sandusky to continue to have access to boys and not be labeled a sexual predator so that he continued to live by an elementary school and run a program for at-risk boys? Paterno is many things and many of them admirable, but he is not stupid. He knew what evil he was protecting when he chose to protect the image of Penn State.

Hit me with it.

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