They’re not numbers, they’re people!

April 22, 2010 at 21:05 (General)

    -But you do not realize how many lives it will take…
    -How many? A thousand, a hundred thousand, a million? With such numbers I need not to be precise. With numbers like this nothing matters any more. Neither decency nor compassion. Nothing. If we will succeed, those who survive, will forgive us all we have done. If we fail, there will be no one left to hate us. All we need now are people who will follow us.

After this, there is a phrase that I will not use in the newest version:
-This is madness…
After I saw the 300 movie, I cannot keep this phrase in and expect people to read it with a straight face…

You see, the thing is that Karstan likes numbers, and that is what he sees (I never said he is a good king ;))

And although he was born in my head, I cannot help but disagree.
We writers, often face a situation when our character makes choices we would not make, says things we would never say and behaves in a way that makes us cringe.
It is a challenge to write about things that we do not “feel” in a convincing way.
I do not know a universal and good for everyone way to tackle this problem.
Here is what works for me:
I let myself go, and I become the character that I disagree with. I close my eyes, and I start to talk, out loud. I don’t care if my friends, who I share my apartment with, will hear me. They know I am weird that way ;p.
I speak like a lawyer in a courtroom defending a criminal. I know I do not believe in what I am saying. But anyone who could hear me, would not know that. Because I speak with such a conviction.

After that, I manage to let the character take over. And the writing process goes smoothly from there on.

If it is hard for you to create a believable character that is different from you, try my way.

And do not be afraid to create such characters.
I know that there are many people who mistake fiction for reality.
That an actor is identified with the role he plays, and that writer might be judged based on what he or she wrote.
But writers cannot hide, and only create politically correct heroes.

Boy, would that be boring :)

If you have your ways to deal with this situation, please share them in comments.
I would love to hear your opinion o this.
Feedback is loved :)

Thank you for reading.



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