Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Dab Will Do You

I found this picture today, and I can't tell you how true it is. I spent many years looking for a place to belong. I bounced from social group to social group; made friends and outgrew them. I was a bookworm, a weird kid, the loud one. I was too quiet, then too opinionated, with bright red hair and funky glasses. People didn't know how to take me.

And then I started hanging out with other writers.

The thing that's beautiful about other writers is, we're all nuts. There isn't a "normal" writer out there. Sure, some people pretend to be by covering breaking news stories or writing hit screenplays, but the fact of the matter is, we're all a little weird. Some of us are a lot of weird. There's no way around it. I mean, you have to be different in order to live in a completely fictional world (or maybe a non-fiction world, but definitely when you weren't in it) and interact with imaginary people. We get so invested in our work, we feel emotionally connected to them, to the point that reading something terrible in their lives makes us cry. They are our friends, the world our creation, the story our baby. And when it's good, it's great. And when it's bad, well, let's just say there are still some novels I'm not on speaking terms with.

Other writers get it. You don't have to have that awkward introduction where you tell the person you're a writer, almost like it's an apology. "I'm sorry my behavior will make you consider having me committed. But it's okay. I'm a writer." When you're with other Children of the Corn, you just delve into it. And they reciprocate. And it's awesome.

I wish I had more writer friends. Admittedly, I haven't been writing much, but I believe support is invaluable whether you're working on a project or not. Bloggers are certainly writers as well, though a different flavor perhaps. I'd like to find some of those as well. So, if you know of anyone interesting, point them my way.

And make sure they bring their anti-psychotics. I'm running low.


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Being the Bad Guy

"You are never the villain of your own story."

This seems to be incredibly true of my life today. The Bad Guy doesn't realize that he's the bad guy. And when he refuses to acknowledge this, it makes it incredibly hard to get any sort of resolution. It's their word against yours. It's open for interpretation. There are two sides to every story.

But what if the story just plain sucks?

In stories, it's easy to pinpoint the antagonist. There's the hero and the villain. And you know who to support. How dare that person do this to your beloved main character? They're obviously evil. But every once in a while, you get a villain that's hard to hate. They have some redeeming qualities. You can understand how they got to this point in their life. But they're still the bad guy. They're still doing horrible things to good people. So, while you're understanding of their situation, you, as a reader, don't like them very much.

Unfortunately, there isn't a delete button in real life. You can't say something terrible and take it back. You can't rewrite a memory. It isn't black and white, because emotions cloud the situation. There are any number of influencing factors. Friends and family have their own opinions. You don't want to disappoint the people who believe in you. But you also don't want to burn your bridges.

I figured out who the Bad Guy is today. But even though I have this knowledge, I'm not sure what the outcome will be. I don't have the luxury of an outline of my life. Sometimes, I really wish I did. It might make it easier to avoid these situations.

Hating people is so much easier in fiction.