In this piece, I get to lash out, put some of my more suspect thoughts--thoughts too edgy for a blog titled "Thoughts of Madman"--into the mouth of a character. This lout: an idiot, a troll, or does he have a point? For your consideration:
Trans/action (ASR) What have I gotten myself into? Maybe I was happy being a ... (Short short)
Edited for punctuation and completeness; third person objective. Comments on the sanity of the character's ideas welcome too.
It came to me that you would never want to be one of my Mary-Sues. It's just... not a good thing, as the story evolves.
Carolie: evolved from a sheltered goody-two-shoes village healer, to eventually become the clone-daughter of the Dark Lord. Turns out, he-she starts out with good intentions, then gets frustrated and starts getting destructive. At that point, he-she spawns a clone who will put the original in his-her place, only to do the same 1000 years later.
Or, in Carolie's turn, maybe this year... her plan to save the day? She 'cures' the free will of her friends and soldiers, so that they will be more comfortable while facing the legions of the old Dark Lord
Brannon: Started out as an interstellar rogue who gets caught up by accidentally 'buying' a symbol of the rebellion, a MacGuyver flying around playing Dr. Who.
Ends up as a brainwashed spy who thinks he's liberating people and is really just setting them up to be assimilated by his old empire. Oh, and meanwhile, the two people he cares about most in the universe are BOTH trying to 'fix' his brain, and the only thing he can be sure of, is that nothing he sees or thinks is worthy of trust.
Now, he has to choose. Easy enough, actually, except that the choice will determine the fates of millions of people. And that's before they move on to the next world.
So I prepare myself for the descent into darkness.
No, I'm not becoming depressed or going spelunking, though those aren't bad ideas. What I am doing is endeavoring to make a scene by scene synopsis of my beloved novel.
So far, two scenes in, I nearly had apoplexy as I realized how starkly melodramatic the ideas are. I knew they were pushing it, after all it was a NaNo and it was genre-related to some really odd stuff that I watched. (No, nothing I will willingly admit to having watched.) And it's already Scifi.
If you and your significant other build poetry together, does she have a copyright to it, barring you from building something derivative? What about in the privacy of your own thoughts, then. Wouldn't that be 'fair use?'
I do wish she'd comment and tell me. Banning me from talking to her should have been enough, but it wasn't.
That moment that the 'balding hairy ape' character, with the broken dialect and the penchant to treat everything like a broken droid, the character that never says anything even a little out of character, says something uncharacteristically insightful and true.
And it's still 100% in character.
If that isn't reward enough for being a writer, you're in the wrong hobby/profession/dangerous obsession.
Every moment the chance of impressing Lauren slips through Jack's fingers, even here, alone as he steps out of the shower. He picks up his pants to put them on. Coins fall out of the pocket. They clatter on the linoleum, announcing his clumsiness to the cat, to the neighbors, to his fiancée.
The urge to vent rose in his throat. Such passions are not allowed in his new world, and he choked them down. He closed his eyes and shook his head. In a calm, albeit pained, voice he says, "Really?" Surely that's allowed. He's heard her say the same thing.
"You know, you're doing it to yourself, right?"
(Continued in comments)
Well, it cost me thousands of dollars, loads of heartache, my apartment, and even some heirlooms (along with other asst'd junk that should have already gone), but I gained a valuable insight from my one-time, beta-reader/fiancée: the difference between a well-written character that has presence and a plot device-character.
What's so instructive is that Binchenzo (the well-written character) is a tertiary character. What's the term? Supporting character, an ex-boyfriend (previous project of Scarlett, lead-supporting character). He doesn't exist for any reason than that he exists, not to drive the story. He's a fat, balding man in a sweaty white undershirt, chomping on a futuristic vaping box. (Well, it was futuristic when I wrote it.) He doesn't care about the story, so in every moment he just does what he would do.
My other characters could be all that, but they are plot devices. They care about the plot, so they morph and change and I don't imagine them so clearly. They are a little bit like ciphers.
As Sigrun, my paladin, is likely to one day say, “You needn’t worry about pure evil; it destroys itself. Most of the time, the worst you will see is ten, fifteen percent evil. We are the majority. That’s why my sword doesn’t see all that much use.”