Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Could you be protecting your characters without knowing it?

I've always thought I was a bit of a hard-ass when it came to writing. Some writers hate putting their characters through hell. I laughed at those writers and happily thrust my characters in the middle of hurricanes, slaughtering them right and left, hacking off limbs and destroying sanity. The ones who made it to the end were the lucky and the few. Even then, their cost was high. Life is bleak. So is fiction.

But, it turns out, I'm not as much of a hard-ass as I thought. Because, despite the high levels of pain I was putting my characters through, I was still protecting them. I was protecting them from the one torment I find more horrifying and more devastating than all others.

Embarrassment.

Never once did I allow my characters to be truly humiliated or embarrassed by their own actions. Why? Because I was afraid they might embarrass me. And that was not okay.

I'm working on correcting this... and I think I've made great strides in my latest novel (parts of which make me blush with embarrassment), but I've still got a long ways to go.

What about you? Do you have a hard time humiliating your characters, or does it come easily to you? What do you find most personally embarrassing?

5 comments:

  1. This is a good post. I just made my character's life harder in my last revision. My writers group was giving feedback and they seemed to be asking for some embarrassment in a couple places.

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    1. Ah, it goes to prove the value of a great writers group. :)

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  2. hmm I don't even know. I'm gunna have to look through this draft and see! but that's a great question. AND now you've prompted me to keep it in mind while I'm revising :D

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    1. Yay! What are you working on right now?

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  3. Very interesting!! Yes, we can't ignore the emotional trials along with the physical ones. Often those are the most gripping. I think I have some embarrassing moments. Will have to check now. LOL

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