Sunday, March 25, 2012

Character Driven - Red Speaks

Hi, this is Red. Kathy’s off on some other plane of existence, finishing my long-awaited sequel, at last. Rumor has it she’s only about twenty pages from the end. So, I told her I’d take on this post. The only thing she said was, “Be nice.” I don’t know why she says stuff like that. I’m always nice, except when I not…which really isn’t very often.

Anyway, I decided I want to speak for my fellow characters, as well as myself, for a moment. It’s seldom that one of us gets to ‘tell it like it is’ without someone’s hand up our dress – as a puppeteer, I mean.

First let’s talk about villains. The general opinion in our Universe is that they don’t get enough respect. After all, if it weren’t for villains, what kind of namby-pamby story would you have? So, I’ve been asked to pass along a sincere request from the bad guy contingent for a bit more reverence.

Children, in books and stories, feel they are being patronized. Seriously. One little girl, who was abducted in her book, said she felt the lines she was being made to say were way out of date, “like I grew up in the fifties, or something.” Authors, please, be aware that your characters aren’t necessarily you. They speak differently nowadays. Kids want to be cool.

The men and women of erotica had one unified complaint, put into words by a busty blonde, “Please let us use our brains more! Our body parts are getting worn out!”

I can see from the terrified faces out there in your world (yes, we can see you, too) that most of you didn’t realize that we characters have organized meetings. Yes…yes, we do. Why just last week, Elizabeth Bennet, I mean Mrs. Darcy, spoke to our local chapter. It was wonderful hearing from such a respected and long-standing member of the Characters Alliance.

Anyway, not to belabor the point, but all those of us who carry your stories to the readers really want is to be treated like you would want to be treated. I mean, if we’re evil, then let us be spectacularly evil; if good, not so much that we bore even a bona fide bookworm to death. We are people, too, after all. Well, except those of us that aren’t – ghosts, hungry sharks, cantankerous bears, etc. Still…

Oh, and thank you from the bottom of our hearts, if we’ve been given one, for creating us.

Kathy returns next week. (I heard that!)


  1. Red, thanks for the insight! Those of us writerly types can use all the tips we can get. Your words are food for thought.

    Thank you again,


  2. Don't be fooled by the picture, Ardee-Ann! This is me, Red, responding. Thanks for the support. You are always so good to Kathy. :-)

  3. Great Post, Red. I must admit I had to read it twice. My mind went to that other plane when you spoke of that hand up your dress... There I go again.

    Most significant characters-- just like in acting-- need to be just a bit larger than life. It's a chance for the writer (the pretty lady with her hand up your dress) to let go when evil comes to town!