Monday, April 4, 2016

It is not safe

I'm going to have to do something unpleasant to one of my characters. Well, that isn't entirely accurate, but I do have a lead on what has to happen next to improve the short story. It is a personal weakness of my craft that I struggle with writing less likable individuals. Evil, I can do, because I've always thought that evil depended almost entirely on perspective. One woman's trash, or treasure. Heroes can look a lot like villains depending the jersey the beholder is wearing. But for this story, for this character, to capture the perspective I am trying to highlight, I really need to make the narrator wrong-headed. Which is far afield of the person being unreliable. There can be some fun in unreliability. This will probably not be fun. And a particular weakness of mine is that I struggle moving forward with unpleasant tasks.

Maybe that's why there was significant movement on the next novel idea. I woke up at midnight a week or so ago, and things all began falling into place. I could understand the world better because the characters became clearer. A recent conversation identified me as a "character based" writer, as opposed to being plot driven. After that interchange, I thought for the rest of the day on the concept of how plot could ever be more important than the characters driving it, involved in it. I guess I know what a partisan politician feels like now. It came up again while I was watching a movie that recently won a number of academy trophies. I latched onto the characters, their conflicts and quirks, and thanked them for holding up what was objectively a plot that amounted to a series of unfortunate disasters. 

I need to figure out Skype. I have the opportunity to participate in a podcast, and I raised my hand without imagining at all how I might be lending my voice to the enterprise. They say look before you leap, but there's no advice on what to do if one leaps first. Certainly, it wouldn't help anything if one looked after. I say if you haven't looked by the time you've leaped, don't bother afterwards. You might ruin the moment. So, anyway. Technology. I saw a video of a robot that can roll up vertical surfaces. I believe machines have become more terrifying than zombies. 

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