How do you deal with noisy neighbors? The occasional ruckus is different than patterns of negligence. It’s easy to ignore or shut out something that only happens once or thrice. In “The Story,” John [right] and Trishna [“center”] live in a few apartments, or other multi-family living facilities, throughout their college years and probably early on into their careers, too. How might they handle conflicts that occur as part of the Hedgehog’s dilemma of society?
Spoilers?: Minor (conflict confrontations)
Let’s start small.
They probably don’t care about minor disruptions. A dropped pan, sneezes, or anything other than absolute silence, after all, is all part of life. You can’t make an omelet without cracking an egg. Expanding out, loud cars, people arguing in a store, or incessant construction might be just minor frustrations in their daily life in Eville, which, like any big city, can be loud.
How about more than city ambiance?
Let’s say it’s a loud party on a tired Friday night. Maybe they just had exams, maybe John or Trishna are sick, or maybe they need to wake up early? In any related situation, they would probably try to roll with the soundwaves as best they can. No use fighting something that will quiet in a few minutes or can be quickly assimilated into the sounds of the city.
How about more than that?
What I like about John and Trishna is that they are people of action. They may complain to themselves or to others, but they won’t let things linger just because it might be for some greater politeness, and will do what is uncomfortable in the short-term to create a more comfortable long-term. That impulse of delaying gratification is the cornerstone of success.
Let’s say it’s a frequently noisy neighbor.
Loud music, screaming at each other, or undisciplined kids might all be handled the same way. If they acquainted themselves with the neighbors through infrequent interaction, it might just be a quick polite chat. That’s the ideal situation. How about something more offensive or nefarious? John might be more likely just to knock on their door and give them a piece of his mind.
Trishna might be his voice of reason.
She might tell him to hang on, to talk things over, and they’d both go over to see about having a friendly chat. The reverse situation could happen, too, with the same decompression chat. Or they might let an anonymous buffer of a phone call to an authority step in to resolve the situation if they don’t feel confident in addressing that stress to regain some sanity.
I don’t have any specific scenario here.
Conflict contrivances in narratives should mostly happen naturally. Even in some gut-punch tales like Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, the spiral of events from bad to worse don’t feel shoehorned in, rather the sorrow occurs because you just know the catastrophic mistake could have been avoided with slightly different scene structures and outcomes.
Otherwise, conflicts become too close to impossible fantasy.
|Sources: The Story’s Imaginarium.|
|Inspirations: Maybe some personal experiences…|
|Related: Essays building “The Story.”|
|Photo: Godzilla wouldn’t be a good neighbor.|
|Written On: June 15th [30min], 25th|
|Last Edited: June 25th|