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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Be a vengeful writing god

You are a god.


In writing, that is. Not in your day to day life. Sorry, didn't mean to get your hopes up. But in terms of your writing, you are a god. The creator. All-powerful. You hold the fate of your characters in your hands. Now the hard part about being a god. Sometimes...most of the time...you have to be a vengeful, angry, cruel god.

I love my characters. They are my babies. I want them to be happy, smiley people walking under a rainbow with a bird singing on their shoulder. I don't want them to be sad or upset or hurt. But guess what? No one wants to read about Snow White playing with little animals. They want to read about Snow White being attacked by her stepmother and poisoned. Oh yeah, waaayyy more interesting. You have to be hard on your characters. Putting them in bad situations and seeing how they react is the best part of your story. Make things bad. Then make them worse.

Aren't these the books that we love the most? Perfect example -The Hunger Games. Things never stop getting worse in this book, and I love it. The Twilight Series? Same thing. I highly doubt Stephenie Meyer enjoyed sending Edward away and making Bella a completely depressed zombie chick.

So, are you making things hard enough on your characters? Or are you going easy on them out of love? I don't know who originally said it but it's good advice my mom always tells me "Push your characters out on a limb. Then cut the limb." (Or something like that.)

4 comments:

Cheree said...

I have to say I'm a very mean God. I love pushing my characters to the limits and then some. I imagine that my characters are going to revolt one day and come after me with pitchforks and fire.

Angela said...

I'm a mean god as well. I did something so terrible to my MC it made ME cry! Yet--it had to be done...

Shelley Sly said...

Awesome topic!

I love my characters as if they're my babies too, but I absolutely have to make them suffer. Especially with heartache, my least favorite experience in real life, but my favorite to bestow on my imaginary friends. It keeps the plot going and makes them so much stronger once they truck through their grief.

Lydia Kang said...

For me I tend to think of the writing itself as my baby. And when I revise and cut pages out--THAT feels like murder to me. Ouch!