The quote in the above tweet* (which, according to Wikiquote, may not have been uttered by Eleanor Roosevelt) has been bothering me since I heard it 15 years ago. Because as much as I love a good discussion about ideas, I’ve also done my fair share of gossip and I spent my career as a journalist talking and writing about events and people.
Now that I’m actively studying fiction, I find that people and and events are, in many cases, far more important than ideas. Or at least, interesting characters and dynamic events provide a way of introducing an idea to a reader. Reading pages and pages of an author proselytizing about lofty ideas or ideals is the way to turn me off as a reader. But when an idea is lived out by a compelling character I’m much more willing to consider that idea.
Recently my husband and I had a conversation about this quote. Because I’m too lazy to recount the conversation in words, and because I just discovered Xtranormal, I will post it in video form.**
*I don’t actually know the Twitterer at the top of the page. His tweet came up when I Googled the quote, so I decided to include it.
** I realize some of the dialogue doesn’t make sense. Sorry about that. Most of our conversations are like this.