You can say that all books are about a character trying to attain a perfect state of being–a perfect day. Whether it’s Harry Potter fighting to destroy Voldemort and bring peace to the wizarding world, Odysseus finding his way home to his wife, or Tom Ripley destroying the obstacles between his real self and the ideal he needs to become, all stories tempt us with the perfect outcome, and then make the characters work for it.
Not all perfect days are the kind you or I might choose. The perfect day for Hannibal Lecter is bats**t scarya**, but we know what it is and we know he’s going to do everything his devious mind tells him to achieve it. And some of us might, deep down, root for him.
My perfect day is not so different from Lou Reed’s. A day at the park. A movie. Seeing a band I like. All spent with my favorite person. I can have this kind of day whenever I want, given a little planning. But if, God forbid, something made it impossible for me to have it, well, then I’d fight for it. And then, when I won it back, the fight would become a story.
What is your perfect day?