When Everybody Wears Glasses But Nobody Has the Same Prescription

Personal Note: When I was much younger (let's go with somewhere around eight or ten) I wanted two things for myself most kids that age didn't: Modesty and wisdom. Yeah, I know that sounds super-mature of me, but my motives were TOTALLY selfish. I wanted to be a quiet, organized, serene person because I thought the world liked that kind of people most, and I really wanted to be liked a lot. I wanted to be wise, not so I could put my wisdom to good use for others, but because in my little grade-school brain you had to be old to be wise and I very much wanted to be old. I was seven, and I wanted to be seventy. After being trapped in the middle of a lot of tragedy by then I'd decided being an old women was the best thing for me because I'd have all my memories, still have all the lessons learned, and be far along enough in my life for the pain of them to have faded away.

Don't wish for age, guys. Things fade away faster than you'd imagine. Wish for strength.

Today's title refers to how fourteen people can be exposed to the exact same thing and still come away with fourteen completely different ideas of what the Hades just happened. For instance, if for some reason I ended up at a Journey/Steve Perry concert* I'd have a totally different experience than my mother. You have to understand, in the early-ish eighties when my mom was in her mid-twenties, and I was only half way to double digits in the age department my mother was A. a DJ for the local Top 40 station, and B. quite possibly Journey/Steve Perry's most devoted fan. She loved them so much she put posters of them on MY bedroom wall, as well as one in her bedroom, and possibly one in the living room.

Anyway, so I remember Journey fondly (for the most part, because I did have that one weird nightmare where the poster was talking to me--my dreams! Always bizarre) and still love their music but I see it more as a childhood memory, whereas my mother, if attending the same concert, would be transported back to a time when salivating after a handsome man with great hair (you didn't think I got that trait out of thin air, did you?) came perfectly naturally and no one looked at her funny for it.

The same can be said of your characters as you write. A number of factors, ranging from personal history to life motto to current state of mind will effect how your character will react to a given situation and you must take that into consideration when you write them because certain things within a specific set of circumstances may cause a character to react out of his norm, and you've got to be there to pin that, and you've got to be ready to back it up--on paper! Not in interviews later what someone asks you "Yeah, but why did X do such and such when that sounds nothing like him?" You have to have an answer, and it better be solid. If you correctly figure out how a character will react the "why" should fall into place naturally and everyone should think, "Well, OF COURSE."

In Silver we have what I think of as "The Big Reveal" scene. Some of you are pretty familiar with it and know originally one character gave out some pretty important information in a strangely blunt-but-'please-don't-be-mad-at-me' kind of way and the other character took the information and believed it almost immediately, without argument. Insert insane laughter HERE because I have since realized there is no way HE would take that perspective, and even more so, SHE isn't the kind of girl to just go along with anything before checking out all her options first. Seriously, these two are going to kill me before it's all over, but it's okay, because I hear authors generally sell more books after they're dead. Look at Jane Austen; she's even getting the undead treatment.

*I realize this will make me seem a bit old and sentimental, but good gracious, see that HAIR! I will forgive him the shaved sides because inthe early nineties all boys made that stupid mistake. And I maintain that Journey's "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" has the best pulsating guitar ever. It's my favorite song by them. You should look up the original recording on whatever music service you use because it's amazing. The video I linked to doesn't do either the instrument work or Perry's voice justice, partially because the quality of the video, and partially because by the time of the recording Perry, who is very well-known for hitting the high notes, had already undergone treatment (maybe surgeries) for a major throat condition and was on doctor's orders not to go to those heights or he might well lose his singing voice entirely.

4 comments:



Tharkun (DeadWizard) said...

I /love/ Journey! Seriously, awesome band. :D

But speaking of mothers, I inherited mine's uncanny proofreading abilities (altho she's about 100 times better than me o.O)
"The same can be said if your characters as you write."
Don't you mean 'of'?

But, as always, an great blog :D

Amethyst Greye Alexander said...

I gave myself a typo pass on this one for now, via Twitter, but I guess I forgot to add it here.

I've got Dimetapp-head.

Denise said...

Hurry up and blog some more. I miss you.

raballard said...

loved the blog.

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