Peter Bensen
Peter Bensen asked Max Gladstone:

I really love your dialogue, your people keep talking and don't stomp off for some hollywood moment. So I wonder how much do your characters write their own stories? Do you find yourself with a very different plot than you started with?

Max Gladstone Thank you! My characters often write their own stories—mostly by coloring the story I planned to tell. A moment I thought would be triumphant becomes tragic, or vice versa; characters who initially stepped onto the page as antagonists grow their own agendas.

That storm-out-for-ACTION!! scene ending often confuses me in films and fiction. (Just once I want to see someone forget their keys.) It's one thing for characters to reach the point where words are meaningless—but so many plots would be solved by "just talk to one another, you idiots!!" (Deadpool lampoons this beautifully. "No way this person who loves me will still love me now that I no longer look like Ryan Reynolds." *90 minutes later* "OH WAIT NEVER MIND THAT WAS DUMB.") Of course, meaningful conversation requires emotional openness, while action plots derive thrust from emotional isolation—in a way, traditional action plots use that suffering and violence to *excuse* the big emotional beat at the end. Hm.

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