The newest installment of the “Seven Deadly Sins” series explores what not to do when it comes to developing your characters.
(No, the title of this post isn't referring to kissing cousins, although that would definitely qualify as relative romance.)
I am a firm believer that romance is relative. It has to be. People are different, relationships are varied, and so the qualifications for a gesture be considered "romantic" must be adjusted for each situation. Romance is, by nature, very personal. The more personal and thoughtful the gesture, the more romantic it is (or else the more potential it has to be romantic).
Yes, indeed, romance is relative. And that means three very important things for writers.
After church Sunday, I went with some friends to a sports bar, where everyone chatted about their favorite football teams and rooted for their favorite players. I'm not a football fan (or a fan of any sports, for that matter), but the whole situation got me to thinking about teams in terms of story... specifically "the good guys" versus "the bad guys". Today, I'd like to touch on the subject of "the bad guys," because I think that's where it's easy to fall through the cracks.
We’ve all heard the question before: if you could have dinner with any five people, who would they be? Well, today I’m asking that same question, but with a small twist. If you could have dinner with any five authors – living or dead – who would they be?
I’ve never considered myself a particularly emotional person. My husband, who comforts me when the little fish dies at the beginning of Finding Nemo or when a nature show documents the lion eating that poor, sick little gazelle, might disagree. Still, I try to react from the basis of reason rather than emotion if at all possible. I really don’t like to cry around people, so I do everything within my power to avoid it.
I recently watched the movie Misery (1990) for the first time, and it worried me just a bit. I have a penchant for killing off characters. It’s not that I like to kill them off or really want to, but I find that death is a great device for moving a story forward. The death of a friend or loved one forces a character to show their true colors. It spurs them either to action or nothingness. It’s the ultimate test for a character, and it challenges them to pick up the pieces of a broken life and pull him or herself up by the proverbial bootstraps. I cry every time a character dies, but still, they die.
Misery, however, makes me stop and think.
Most people are very aware of the illness that plagues writers from time to time, namely, Writer’s Block. Merriam-Webster’s Medical Dictionary defines it as, “a psychological inhibition preventing a writer from proceeding with a piece of writing.” I’d like to offer up an alternate definition.
“A) An expletive, which writers classify as a four-letter-word. B) A malady of the soul which presents as an irritation of the “author bone” – the physiological anomaly exclusive to writers – and which stimulates the use of four-letter-words.”
As prevalent as it is, the diagnosis of Writer’s Block is all-too-often a misdiagnosis of very different problem. PACS.
Passive Aggressive Character Syndrome.
Called "The Semi-Sane Writer", this blog used to have its own home. However, it felt lonely and decided to join the rest of the author's information on this site. The author took pity on the poor, lonely blog and very nicely relocated it.