Today I want to talk a little bit about the Ordinary World vs the Extraordinary World. I am going to shorten these terms to OW and EW. There are countless examples of using the OW and the EW. Most established writers know this, and probably don't have to think about them too much. For example, Star Wars, Luke's OW is living in the desert, whining about power converters. The EW is space, the rebellion, and everything that is not power converters and sand. Because Luke is the hero, the story revolves around him. However, don't forget other characters. Take Han Solo. His OW is one of crime, smuggling, trying not to get killed by Jabba the hut and keep his ship running. This may not sound very ordinary, but for him it is. In stumbles Luke and an old man and he finds himself thrust in an EW. Battling the Empire, rescuing a princess, blowing up Death Stars. Everything you wouldn't find an out for himself smuggler doing.
The reason I bring up the OW vs the EW is because I watched a couple of good shows this last week. The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad. If you have seen these shows then you should have seen these transitions from the OW to the EW. In The Walking Dead, we have the cops doing their normal jobs, complaining about marriage and girlfriends. Everyday life for them. Something happens and 15min later the hero wakes up in a zombie filled EW.
Same goes for Breaking Bad. A high school chemistry teacher who is down on his luck, turns to a life of cooking meth to pay for medical bills and hopefully a nest egg for his family. Breaking Bad has a nice polarity with the main guy and his brother in law who is a DEA agent. They have opposite OW's and EW's. Catching and dealing with meth heads is the DEA agents OW. Home and family is his EW and he flounders here. The exact opposite of the Hero.
With some creative thinking you can begin to see how the OW vs the EW is used all over the place to enrich the environment and characters we write. So the next time you watch a tv show, movie, or read that next best selling book, keep a lookout for these things. And if you haven't opened the interview at Rachna's Scriptorium you can do it now. I will be checking the comments there and answering any additional questions people may have. Have a productive week everyone.