What we tell in our stories is important. But sometimes, what we don’t tell says just as much. And maybe something we didn’t intend.
I saw Backdraft the other night. A capable, but daring fireman - Stephen – has a young son with an ex-wife. She left him, and why? Because she had realized that Stephen might die, and she had to think of their child. So she refuses to return to him, even if it is clear that they love each other. He accepts this and leaves and her standpoint is no longer part of the story.
From my point of view, leaving it at that, the storyteller says that she is right, she does care best for their child, by leaving the father.
If he had opposed her, telling her that he is still father of their son and his death will cause him pain no matter if they stay together or not and that she should have thought of that before they got a child, things would have been different.
Those missing lines of protest leaves an air of that she is doing the right thing. And I think she is so very wrong.
But by adding that objection from the father, it doesn’t necessarily leave an air of him being right. If they both state their opinion it is more up to the viewer to decide which one that is right.
So consider what conflicts you leave unattended as well.
Update: The Quest Initiative
6 hours ago