Tuesday, January 25, 2011

How to be a mean God!

In the life of our characters we play God.  We love our little darlings and like kids, we want to make them all better.  It is easy to want them to have a nice day.  The trouble with a nice day is, it's not very exciting to the people who are reading about it.  The observers out there are having a nice day....reading.  They want to be thankful that this is not happening to them.  They don't want to feel like the life they are leading sucks in comparison to suzie Q sunrise in her perfect dream life.  If she has a better car, better house and better boyfriend than me and gets to just wander around enjoying it all finding success in every lucky little moment and never loosing her car keys, virginity or her trust fund....I now hate her.  If something eats her or the bad man gets her....good!

You can't be a nice God if you want your story to be.....welllllll  a story?  If you want SuzieQ to be a perfect version of you....uhem that's called visualisation therapy and is really only fun for you...it isn't a bad thing to write.........but don't expect anyone to want to read it.

Examples ---  On Supernatural - Sam and Dean would be dorky jerks in normalville.  What makes us adore them is they must always be in danger.  They die more than any characters ever known to TV, yet we know even death has no hope for them.  They are tortured into our hearts. 

In Lord of the Rings, hobbits would be the most annoying awful little beings ever, if they were not subjected to despair, hardship and the rules of a world so much bigger than they knew.  Samwise and Frodo are tortured into our hearts.

Precious --  She is sullen. from the ghetto and not very likable.  It is hard to care about someone who seems to hate everyone, until you see her life.  Until you see the horror the human Monsters have tortured her with and you see how the odds are so great that it will never be a happy day, you don't love her.  Once you know her torture, it's hard not to love her.

Carrie -- This girl was every kid you hated in high school.  She seemed so stupid and so pathetic that you instantly don't care about her.  Yet seeing what she lives, makes you wish you could go back and be nice to her, help her along a little.   When she gets this crazy power, you are thrilled for her. The nice boy is kind to her and wow you just want her to be a little happy.....that would have been a good story.  But, what makes it great...unforgetable....masterful........is that God (Mr. King) was not done torturing her.  The mean girls go too far and even the teacher betrays poor Carrie with laughter.  Did you really care that she torched the school?  Or were you just sad that she didn't survive?  You had grown to like the monster.

If we want others to love our characters, there must be torture.  That does not mean just physical...Pain is pain, but inside torture is a vast carnival of rides as well.  Loss, grief, unfair world, shame, blame and step right up folks our own terrible decisions may lead us to torture! 

If you want to play God....I mean write, you must be a mean God.  You can give them a happy ending if you want but always be aware, it's a happy ending.  Happy is where you stop.  Happy is not the story.

Now, get out your whips and chains, open your torture express lane and go write some awesome evil upon your dazzling eyed darlings.  Turn dreams into nightmares and hope into mind breaking loss until you make them question breathing. 

I have a special song I sing for my characters before I make them hate me.  There is a song about Saint Dominique.  It is a happy little ditty that goes something like...

Dom In Ique aaa Ique aaa ique...I will follow Dominique....ad infinium.  It was a hit back in the sixties and a pretty little Nun sang it playing her guitar.  It is one of those songs that get stuck in your head until you could scream. 
Speaking of screams,

Dominic De Guzman once wrote:   "To read, joy; to think, delight; to write, torture."

He was the founder of the Dominican order. 
He was also the Father of a little historical event called the Inquisition.  Saint Dominque -- father of torture, burner of books and heretics.....ok everybody sing!
read more about him here.....

You are welcome to borrow my little song of inspiration for your own writing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0EFlqOPTTc   here is the link to the Debbie R. version.  I will post the video to the blog too.

And here is an Arc giveaway  from YA Highway....a blog of awesome in case you didn't know!  Go here..

and another yo should check out   http://www.kirstenhubbard.com/

1 comment:

  1. So true. If you're more than a chapter in without a rising conflict, you really need to cut stuff out.

    Nice post.