BULLshot: John Thorton Williams

BULLshot: John Thorton Williams

JP: Why do bromances always end in tragedy?

John Thorton Williams: I’m not sure I necessarily agree that all bromances end in tragedy. I guess, to me, it makes sense to first distinguish between real life and art.

As for real life, I’m lucky enough to have a handful of really close guy friends. We’ve all gotten along pretty well for many years now and I like to think that we’ll continue to do so for many more. I don’t think that male relationships are inherently any more volatile than female relationships or mixed-sex relationships, though their dynamics might be different and sometimes seem that way.

Male relationships in art, though, make for an entirely different discussion. I’m still not sure that I’d say they almost always end in tragedy, but I do think the discussion is rooted in a story’s need for conflict. Though there are a number of terrific writers who can pull it off, I myself can’t imagine writing stories that don’t operate around a central conflict. I do believe characterization to be just as—if not even more—important, but often, to me, a story’s central conflict is a way to understand and develop the characters I’ve put into play—how do they respond to whatever is at stake? Whenever I establish a conflict that feels real and meaningful, there’s always a chance that it will end in tragedy. It just depends on what the material dictates. But I don’t necessarily think that’s singular to bromance.


About the Author

Josh Peterson has published short stories in over a dozen literary journals. Over the years, he's found work as an environmental writer, a medical writer, a comedy writer and a new-media journalist. He's currently working on a novel.