A good friend gave me a T-shirt with the following emblazoned across the front. “Be careful what you say. You could wind up in my book.”
There’s a special bonus for writers, we can write someone into our story and then give them whatever we feel their just desserts are. That mean old bully can finally “get his” with no repercussions. In real life we may not wish someone irrevocable harm, even when they’ve angered us; but in our make believe world that we put on paper we can have all sorts of fun and satisfaction.
Revenge doesn’t make us bad people… just writers.
How many villains have you known in your life – real life villains? Now admit it, you’ve fantasized about the revenge you’d like to take, haven’t you?
The biggest problem with inflicting the ultimate revenge – death, or at least unrelenting torture – is that each character an author puts into the story is a personal creation. (Surely we change our characters enough so we can’t be sued for using someone’s true identity.) How can we harm our creations?
It isn’t easy, but I admit, sometimes it is just so much fun! And yes, sometimes there are a few “faces” I imagine when I am dealing out horrible endings. Okay in REAL life I am really not a horrible person, but… (it is cathartic to write my form of justice into my books).
Do you have any favorite story villains? Did you object to the justice they did, or didn’t, get? And be honest, haven’t you ever fantasized about dealing harshly with the real-life villains you’ve met?
Some of my story villains I don’t feel (much) guilt about for the destinies they met include the stalker in FinalSin, Hal in Bartlett’s Rule, Dunlop in Within the Law, and Charlie in CommonBond, Tangled Hearts.
…just remember, YOU could wind up in one of my books – how do you think I would portray you?
When I watch cop shows on TV or read detective novels, the criminals never get away with the most carefully planned revenge. As writers, nobody even know that our Joe Doaks character is really some kid with another name from a 6th grade P.E. class. :-)
Exactly! Thanks for stopping by, Malcolm.
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