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My friend turned me onto “Into the Woods”–but not the 2014 movie, the Broadway musical. I just loved it! The most memorable part is the two princes waxing eloquent about the exquisite agony of not getting what they want.

“Agony! Beyond the power of speech. When the one thing you want is the one thing out of your reach…”

hqdefault“Agony! Much more painful than yours! When you know that she’d go with you…. if there only were doors.”

LOL! It’s really worth the watch. These two princes are in love with Cinderella (who has run off at midnight) and Rapunzel (who is stuck in a tower.)

We romance novelists use this technique all the time. We put our characters through misery and agony, dangling their heart’s desires just out of their reach. I also use this in my parenting–albeit in a slightly more mocking tone–where I tell my son what exquisite agony is his being a much loved child of two parents who insist that he eat his vegetables. 😉

And when you think about it, most of our problems fall into this category. First World Problems. Oh, the agony of not getting our way. When we tone down the orchestra and actually look at things, our lives are pretty good!

Bursting into show tunes kinda puts things into perspective, you know? 😉