Writing on the Edge

picture of logging cut
Logging cut: credit Animals.About.com

When changes occur in animals’ environments – roads, logging cuts, canals, fences, agricultural developments – the newly-exposed edges are referred to as edge habitats.

Once-continuous landscapes become isolated patches. And the edges of those patches are subject to increased sunlight, temperature/humidity changes, and more wind. All living things now on the edge go through a complex process of adaptation and a search for a new balance.

Read wildlife expert Laura Klappenbach’s piece on the subject for more.

Frank Chimero
Frank Chimero: credit honolulu.aiga.org

In another discipline, web design, Frank Chimero talks about the openness of design on the Internet page. Open on all sides. Edgelessness. He says, “Edgelessness is in the web’s structure: it’s comprised of individual pages linked together, so its structure can branch out forever.”

And here we are. Storytellers. Writers. Creating characters. Putting them in peril. Throwing their worlds upside down. We are like the road builders, the loggers, the fence builders. We slash through our characters’ lives until they inhabit isolated physical and emotional patches. We throw them into situations where they need to adapt, to find new balance.

Writing on the Edge

And at the same time we writers also erase all the edges, giving our characters the opportunity to expand ever outward. Moment by moment. Scene by scene.

Without that chaos, we have boring characters. Women and men without guts, with no spine, no chance even to show their mettle.

A Writer is a Threat

A writer is a threat to a character’s environment. What a great creative impact we can make as writers!

More on Frank Chimera: The Shape of Design