Troy Kirby

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Characters, both badass and mute

I got this character in mind, but no story to put him in. It's frustrating to see what I believe is a great character go to waste, but I understand the alternative.

Writers sometimes place characters in stories that don't fit, and I wonder if its because the character was so damn remarkable that they just had to use it somewhere. The film Hesher comes to mind. As if the Heavy Metal jerk was dropped from space on a whim, with no understand or reasoning for why he was there. That's the moral of the story when it comes to writing. Sometimes, those great characters have no walls to surround them, no universe to exist in.

There must be people in real life who feel that way. As if they were written into a story, but really, they are afterthoughts in character development. You see people who question why they are here. What they are doing. Well, that goes without saying that if you exist without a reason, without a function, it can probably be very boring for you.

I call this my "John Doe' theory of real life people.

Sure, these people exist, but even they don't know as to why. Those people who don't have any interest in knowledge, feeling, purpose, being. They merely go through the plot of the story and aren't even curious as to what the ending might be. In some cases, you meet these people and you can't begin to understand how they lasted that long.

Ask them about their interests. It's always vague, to the moment, nothing which holds more than a few thoughts.

Ask about their goals. Again, vague and elusive.

While I understand that everyone doesn't have the answers in life, I would hope that some of the people would attempt to discover a few of them before their lives are over. A lot of people have become characters that resemble Jack Nicholson in About Schmidt. It's only after they've done exactly what they were told through the years do they sit back and ask what the hell they did.

Apparently, people can and do function that way. I have no idea how. Life would appear pretty boring. And most of the people who the above statement mentions are just that. Boring.

The last thing that I ever want to be is completely boring to another person. I mean that. It holds that I don't have enough thought to contain or entertain this person for less than a few moments before they tire of me. And really, what is that?

This guy walks up to me this afternoon. He doesn't really say much, but mentions in vague terms everything he does. But it appears less interesting than it should be. Especially when I find out he works in New Mexico with tribal childhood development. But the way he gave off information made me feel as if I had lost interest in the conversation shortly after it began.

I wished I could stop, turn back to my computer, and keep typing this blog post out, but that would be rude. But I'm sure it's easier to do when you're reading something from a point of boredom in a book or ebook. You can put it down without any regrets.

Then, I had another person who used sexual innuendo with every sentence. Not to be disgusting, but to be fun. And it told me a lot about a person that he wanted to have fun at his job while speaking frank about stupid sexual things. This wasn't at my work, but still, where have we gotten in society where you can't have any fun? Because it might hurt someone's "feelings."

Have people in office's become more like the first example of the man so vague that he barely says anything in order to avoid becoming the guy who says too much?

That brings up the character "talking killer" which is more of a film thing, but still happens sometimes in novels.

Really? Do you have to explain everything before you kill someone? I don't know.

Here's the alternative, the "mute killer" who just points the gun, shoots and looks like a badass.

But that is problematic. Now you have an impersonal character creating a personal act.

Doesn't appear that forceful of an antagonist.

So giving enough of both the features of "talking" and "mute" in the antagonist where they say enough without talking too much may be the answer. Otherwise, your character doesn't feel real at all.

Besides, I would like to believe that a real character, even someone evil, would say something to me before they would attempt to harm me. And if they do, they can't be boring. That would make me angrier than just being killed.

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