Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Suffer characters suffer!" Jim Butcher & JMS

I love screwing around with my characters, about as much as I like messing around with my audience.

Over time, we've talked about who can you trust in A Pius Man, how I like to keep my characters vague ... sometimes the most vague being the one who is the most blunt.

Now, I didn't get into writing to be a sadist of my own personal playthings. Unlike some authors, like J. Michael Straczynski, I don't "torture my characters." In some cases, like JMS, he does it literally.

And guys like Jim Butcher have literally said "Suffer characters, suffer!" in describing his writing style.  Back at DragonCon, he practically leaped at the microphone when asked about beating up on characters, and said "I'll take that one."

In my case, I just enjoy giving them mental problems that confuse the hell out of them.

And, also in my case, I like throwing in a love story, just to screw with some of them.

I've been in love.  As someone with two BAs, a masters degree, and more PhD credits than I want to think about, dealing with women has been one of the more interesting situations I've ever had to deal with.

So, I took what has turned out to be one of my most frighteningly intelligent characters, Scott Murphy, and gave him a different problem to work on: not only does he have to figure out who killed an al-Qaeda terrorist, but he also has to figure out ........ "Am I falling in love?  Damnit!"

It's fun watching characters beat their heads against a wall in frustration, especially when they try to logic their way out of a romantic situation.

Okay, I have to steal the line....

Suffer, characters, suffer!!!!!!!

I feel like there should be a "muahaha" in there somewhere.

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