Remember when I described this place as freshman year at college?
Yeah, that is most definitely holding true.
I just did something I haven’t done since that…err…entertaining year of my life: I had a random, booze-filled night of D&D. Yes, you heard that right…Dungeons and Dragons.
I’m a nerd. Get over it. I did.
That being said—and in spite of having done some writing for RPG video games—I haven’t done an actual D&D session in 20+ years.
Holy shit, was it hilarious.
Let’s see: you have a transgender guy running the game as DM…a married couple playing two characters…an introvert writer…and, just to round things out, the most socially awkward, anxiety-prone human being ever born. Yep, D&D at its finest!
No, really – a damned squirrel just ran across my foot! Brave little bastard.
God, I do love this place.
Anyway, back to my semi-drunk-post.
As writers, we have to come up with a wide array of characters. All works of life, all types of people…
But one of the traps into which many of us fall is the urge to create “strong” characters. Yes, they serve the purposes of the story. Yes, we even give them flaws and problems. But how often, and how effectively, do we mirror the incredible array of the flawed and the screwed-up?
An antagonist that picks his nose…
A protagonist with chronic bad breath…
A love interest with the fashion sense of someone from “Cops”…
You get it: all those little things that we don’t like in the world. Those same little things can give depth and reality to the characters we create, so why are they so seldom employed?
I don’t know either, but it seemed like a really good thing to think about while I sit here and watch the sun set with a beer in my hand and a squirrel trying to eat my ankle.
As a word of warning, it’s probably time for another snippet post. Look for that on Monday!