Saturday, March 17, 2012

Never Piss Off a Writer

Okay, so "piss off" isn’t the most lady-like phrase to headline a post with, but I’m sorry - P.O. just didn’t work.

Recently, I was trying to remember who had said that one of the best things about being a writer is that we get to change the way the story ends; in other words, when we “rewrite” the way something happened in real life we can have it end anyway we want. This launched a whole Bloody-Marys-on-the-Veranda discussion with Red.

Kathy: Well, whoever said that writers get to change the way things turn out was brilliant. I wish I could remember where I heard it – Oprah, maybe?

Red: It’s true. Absolutely. I’ve watched you take something terrible that happened to you and make it turn out alright in a story.

Kathy: Until I heard it put that way, I never realized how healing writing fiction can be.

Red: Well, duh! You can write a character exactly like someone who’s a bad guy in real life and then kill him off. Must make you feel powerful!

Kathy: (grinning widely) Yes…yes it does. I have a whole list of weenies, pervs and mean girls I’m working my way down.

Red: At least I know I’m safe!

Kathy: Well, since you never do anything I don’t make you do, you’ll definitely never be a mean girl. Although…

Red: Come on! Don’t make me be a weenie!

Kathy: Maybe just for a few minutes …

Red: No! What have I done to piss you off?

Kathy: (laughter could not be contained) Nothing. I’m just messing with you.

Red: (relief evident on her face) Geez, I’m glad you’re the only writer I know!

Kathy: I told you – never piss off a writer, fiction or not, because every writer I know stands a little taller when they hear the phrase “The pen is mightier than the sword.”

Red: (smiling as she took a sip of her Bloody Mary) Something to remember. Definitely, something to remember.

16 comments:

  1. Oh, I'm terrible about making the people I dislike into villains and then killing them. It's so cathartic! Except that fictional villains tend to be smarter than their real-life counterparts. Out in the world, it's absolutely horrifying what people get away with even though they don't exactly have criminal genius on their side.

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    1. I so agree with you that so many get away with incredible stuff. Just ordinary people in ordinary situations. It may not be exactly justice, but it does the heart some good when you know you've given them just desserts in your fictional world!

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  2. I can so relate!!!! I haven't yet made a main character or lead character that was based off an asshole in my life, but I have written in minor characters inspired by peoole like that and made sure to make them as unlikeable as I can!

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    1. The assholes (thanks for using another appropriate word!) are so many that we hardly have time to do them all in in our stories, but I'm going to give it a hell of try.

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    1. I LOVE this response. Thanks Daniela - sister!

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  4. By the time I get around to killing my villains, sadly, I've come to love them as my characters too much to get a thrill out of it.

    Nevertheless, *standing a little taller* :D

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    1. I understand that completely. That's partly because we imbue (at least I do) our villains with SOME redeemable qualities. They are usually better people than those real people we built them from.

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  5. It is so much fun to "do in" someone evil...I know that mean thoughts are not nice but it is better to work them out "on paper" than to actually act on them, right?

    Great post, so much fun to read!

    Cheers,

    Ardee-ann

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    1. I think it's wholly healthy to "off" our worst experiences in humanity on paper! What could be better?

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  6. Thank you for this....I have an internet troll that will soon be faced with life without a computer or smartphone!!

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    1. LOL - I had an internet troll in my first book. I hadn't thought of that punishment! Good for you.

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  7. Something I've found to be fun is taking the people I like and making them into the bad guys. Most love to see there name in a book-- no matter how wicked the character. But doing in those that aren't on your good side is great fun.

    If I see a name-- like on Twitter-- that captures me I usually add them to a new story. I will write the 'real' person and it's amazing how excited they get. Great fun.

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    1. Most of my characters, if not all, are built on people I know in real life, usually an amalgamation of several. When describing some terrible trait or act that's been done in real life, I'm have an evil grin on my face.

      You're right - great fun.

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  8. Definitely one of the most rewarding perks of being a writer!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Carol! Isn't it though!

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