*Note — I’ve been helping someone move for the last couple of days. Coherence and writing are not, umm, my strong suits at the moment!
Oh, for the love of God, discount wine.
There’s a reason that shit was on sale in the first place…
I’m pretty sure my recent foray away from the comfortable and familiar (beer & whiskey) may be one of the larger mistakes of my life. Right up there with being the “other man” in a neat little love triangle (hey, I was young — cut me some slack!).
Now, that intro got me to thinking about regrets, and about “do overs”, but that is the one topic I am going to leave (have to leave?) for Wednesday’s post.
Great, now I have to connect that thought to…err…something. Preferably something writing-oriented. Umm, okay, so it’s not like I haven’t violated that particular little blog-goal a million times lately…
Still, I claim this to be a writing blog — and writing is, in fact, my life — soooo…screw you, Roy Moore, I’m not talking about you this week! You and the rest of the creepy assholes can burn quietly in Hell for the moment. And I really do mean that: QUIETLY!!
I’m gonna talk about discount wine, and how that relates to character building! Or something!
Err, insert Emily Litella quote here.
Look, I had every intention of writing a serious entry today. Even if I decide to **gasp!** stray from the writing-blog thing, there is a ton of stuff out there to work with: Michael Flynn and the FBI…a tax cut package that doesn’t actually cut taxes…Angela Merkel finally showing that she is human…the joke that is the NFL…
To quote Maverick, “Sorry, Goose, but it’s time to buzz the tower.”
Wait, that ain’t it…let’s try this: “It’s a target-rich environment!”
Yeah, THAT’s the one.
So, what does discount wine REALLY tell me about life and the universe?
Well, first off, it tells me that Douglas Adams was right…about pretty much everything. Especially cricket.
No politics or society, not today. Nope, today it’s (still) writing!
So, after all that…bad wine ties back to something I have mentioned before: letting your characters make mistakes. Especially, allowing your protagonist to make mistakes.
Outside of the plot — where we all (hopefully) know his/her decisions and choices have to drive things — there is too much of a tendency to have protagonists know and do all the the right things.
Don’t fall into that trap.
Flaws, mistakes, even the occasional bout with stupidity, all serve to make your character more human, and more relatable. More real.
Don’t tell those mistakes, take a few minutes — and a few hundred words — and show your characters’ lack of perfection. What if James Bond occasionally spilled his drink on the women he was picking up? What is Aragorn dropped his sword from time to time? What if Captain Kirk got an interstellar STD?
Shit happens, and no one is perfect: neither should your characters be.