This advice was scribed by author Kristina McBride on the cover page of her novel THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES at a book fair in Ohio a couple of years ago. At the time, I remember thinking that it was a great turn of phrase. After reading the book—a heartwrenching story about a teenage girl whose best friend returns two years after being abducted from a neighborhood park—its meaning hit me on a deeper level.
There really is a delicate balance to everything in life, and anytime the scales tip too far in one direction… you could be headed for a crash landing.
Last winter I ended up writing two manuscripts simultaneously (not something I set out to do). Book #1 is rather dark—the story of a girl trying to maintain her integrity as she’s thrust into a life of depravity. Book #2 is more upbeat—a love story set in a beautiful mountain town. Book #1 sort of came at me full speed, without much planning or plotting. But after several days of crazy inspiration, I realized that writing Book #1 was starting to make me sad.
So I did what any sane writer (is that an oxymoron?) would do—closed the document and started work on my much lighter Book #2. I never thought I’d write two stories at once. But alas, switching between these two manuscripts was the perfect solution. My opposites were completely balanced. Thanks, Kristina!
Have you read THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES yet? What about other good books that deal with contrasting issues? Life/Death. Quiet/Loud. Safe/Scary. How do you keep your balance in life or literature?