Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I Laugh in the Face of My Characters

I am this close to writing a scene so utterly devastating in CM, not only will characters be bawling, but possibly readers as well. If I were a normal writer, this would leave me choking up at my keyboard, especially since I can experience the darkest depths of my protagonist's emotions as if they were my own. I’m not a normal writer, though, so despite this emotional connection, just the mere thought of writing this scene is making me react, instead, like this:

Yep, I rejoice whenever my characters are in pain. I have no idea why, since I’m always compelled to hug other people’s characters when they’re suffering, if not shed honest-to-goodness tears for them. (I’m looking at you, The Final Eclipse!) My future readers will probably be appalled to learn such a scene is making me giddy like this. But…I can’t help it. When it comes to my characters—characters who always have fun torturing me with their inopportune chatter and unplanned plot changes—their torment is the most hilarious thing on the planet to me, so start cooking up some popcorn, because I intend to enjoy every last minute of it!

Any other writers out there crazy enough to relish the pain their characters go through? Are you the kind to instead cry whenever they’re forced to endure the slightest bit of tragedy? Or does their anguish never make you bat a lash, be it in sympathy or amusement?


  1. I dunno. I've never really felt sad for my characters since they continue to live in my brain.

    1. That's true about characters never truly leaving. I think that can be a blessing and a curse for some writers. The characters always being there makes it harder to avoid their pain, but the writer is usually aware that they will overcome whatever they're going through, which makes the pain easier to bear, and if they won't overcome it...well, some happy version of those characters will always exist inside the brain, anyway!

      I've always felt a little weird since I've seen other writers blog about getting worked up whenever their characters are suffering. While I care about my characters, I can't help but feel amused whenever my own are. I guess it's my more petty side enjoying the chance to torture them like they torture me, haha!

    2. If you hate the character then yes, the character staying with you would suck but I love most of mine!

      I know I cope with the pain by pretending that my characters are pretending or shooting a movie or something. It just makes it easier when beloved characters die. I feel guilty.

      I find it amusing. It's like they're that connected that they feel their character's pain! I smile sometimes when they get hurt. You too huh? And that's not evil. It's called being ruthless!

    3. I love my characters, too, even the evil ones...but gosh, no matter how huggable they are, their pain never fails to make me snicker. *shifty eyes*

      The scene I plan to write doesn't involve any characters dying, but one certainly wants to die. It's a very dark and emotional scene, and for some reason, "dark and emotional" always leads to amusement on my part when writing, haha. I'll embrace being "ruthless" instead of "evil"! :P

    4. Haha! It's easier knowing that they're not actually real and aren't feeling any pain as a result.

      Oh no! Emotional is taking it too far to laugh at! Or it might be funny depending on how it's written. It's always funny for the writer but it's always sad for the reader. I love writing sad scenes but hate reading them! I want to be happy!

    5. If I do my job right as a writer, readers will be crying, or at least have the urge to hug my protagonist! I don't want them being sadistic like me and laughing at him. (I certainly don't laugh at other people's characters when they're in pain, but when it's my own...um...yeah. Hello, laughter. Haha!)

    6. haha! No worries. Just don't make them Mary Sue's and your readers will love your characters!

      No, I did laugh in Breaking Dawn when Irina or whatever her name was was killed by the volturi. But by the time i got to the end of that book, I was insane.

    7. I like to think I manage to avoid Mary Sue-ism for all my characters. I have too much fun giving them flaws and having things not go their way, haha!

      I don't think anyone can blame you for laughing during Breaking Dawn. That book was a pile of crazy, from what I've heard about it online!

    8. Same. Even writing Mary Sue's is boring. I'd rather my characters were arrogant or as dumb as a brick than like Bella Swan.

      It was insane. I swear it read so much like fanfiction, I kept looking through the book just to make sure it was a real copy!

    9. LOL, same here about preferring to have characters that are arrogant/dumb/what-have-you. That's heaps more fun to write, anyway!

    10. Some readers don't like them since they think everyone is perfect or bla bla but the story is so much better when the characters have substance!

    11. I agree--substance is always better than perfection! I'd rather risk ticking off readers with a character who's unlikable (yet fleshed-out) than write a Mary Sue.