Friday, April 10, 2015

Can't Fix Stupid, But They Make GREAT characters!

Being a closet curmudgeon, I have this new mantra--can't fix stupid.  I know too many people who just make stupid mistakes, because they have no idea what it'll do to others.  They care only about themselves.  I could give you example after example, but here are a few generic situations that fit the 'can't fix stupid' mantra.

* 'I can't get a job because I won't make enough money.  So I'm not going to work at all.'  Well, you won't make ANY money.  That makes total sense.  NOT.

* 'I'm bored with my marriage, so I'm going to date someone else.  My kids will handle it.'  No, they won't.  Boredom in a marriage means you're half to blame.  The kids will forever be affected by this.

*  'He abuses me, but I can't leave him.  I love him.'  Are you kidding me?  Look up 'Stockholm syndrome' and let's chat.

These are just hypothetical situations, because for every one of these examples, there's always a second side, and there are usually extenuating circumstances.

But these types of people make GREAT characters.  They have flaws.  They're broken.  They come to the story with lots of emotions, unable to flee from the past.

Without conflict, there is no story.  These people bring a lot of conflict and drama to every plot.

So here's some homework for you.  In your life, find ten people who are making stupid decisions.  Take their flaws and put them into your next book, but mask who those people are.  I could come up with more than ten, but ten would be a wonderful start.

Have a wonderful week!

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