Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bad taste & personal battles

Sometimes I wonder if I have bad taste. 

It feels wrong to admit that I don't like hero-characters, or ones that display the 'good' of society. Self-absorbed characters are brighter, bolder, and far more interesting. I'm usually drawn to the side characters (of books or tv shows) instead of the main characters. I like the odd, quirky books and tv shows that can't seem to find an audience

Not to mention my wardrobe consists almost entirely of funny t-shirts, jerseys/hoodies, baseball caps, sneakers and jeans.

...and I frequently wonder if that is going to impact my ability to write anything that will appeal to a larger crowd (aka, someone other than me will enjoy it).

I know they say to write what you love, but is that enough? What if my taste in books/characters/writing/entertainment is inherently flawed?

I'm not wallowing in self-loathing or anything. I don't need reassurance, or confirmation...

I have a remarkable amount of pride in what I have created and what I want to create in the future, but this is one of the fears I battle with on-and-off.

The silver-lining is that I worry about this problem more than I worry about my dyslexia. Sure, I have my days when I can't string together a coherent sentence. The new Blogger word-verification has just about destroyed my ability to comment on other people's blogs, 'cause, y'know, it wasn't damaging enough to my self-confidence before to continually 'fail' at proving I'm human, so let's add a second word and make both of them nearly unreadable!

(yeah, I'm a little bitter)

I've proven to myself that I can overcome my disability, but is it possible to overcome bad taste?

I was talking about Project #2 (Simon's Oath) with one of my beloved writing-group members, and she asked me what I liked about the story. One of the first things that sprung to mind is the fact that there's not a Hollywood happy ending. But it's a satisfying ending, at least in my opinion.

Those of you who volunteered to read/critique my synopsis for this story a while back should understand, and those of you who have read the entire story, in one or more of its various incarnations, should also get what I mean.

I wanted a realistic ending. Consequences for Simon's actions. The understanding that Faith isn't magically going to become normal. That the madam, twisted as she is, is still Faith's mother.

There's no Disney-esque-group-hug at the end, a standing ovation, victory over a defeated enemy, or a drawn-out passionate kiss.

And I don't think I ever want to write a story like that. I don't think I even could write story in which everything turns out all-right in the end 'cause the good guys have triumphed over the bad guys.

I wonder... do I write anti-climactic stories?

Part of the reason I'm asking myself this is because of Project #5. It's about the least 'me' story I've ever written. It's more plot/action-based (an actual quest!) than character-based, there's romance (sortof), and the ending I have in mind is... well, less 'me' again. It's really quite straightforward. The characters are more human/civilized than feral.

...and I find myself floundering. It's hard to get into this head of this character who is so... good, so upright and selfless. So... heroic, in a way.

Yuck, I feel dirty.

But I also wonder, in this 'less-me' story, am I searching beyond my usual story-fare because I'm not satisfied anyone will like what I do, or am I simply expanding my repetoir into new and unexplored areas?

Is it fear, or is it confidence that I can go in a new direction?

Honestly, I have no idea, but this has been occupying a large portion of my mental facilities as of late.

What do you guys think? Do you usually bond with main characters, or side-characters? What kind of characters do you write? Are some kinds easier than others? What kind of endings do you write? What endings do you prefer when you read? Are they the same kind?

And by the way, a fresh, home-brew pinot-noir goes amazingly well with a grilled-cheese sandwich and beet pickles ;)


  1. Grilled cheese and a pino noir. Who'd have thunk it? Sounds like an interesting pairing indeed.

    Yeah, there's a lot of disgruntlement about the double "prove you're a human" captcha bit.

    I have to say that an HEA kind of ending can be a little bothersome if it comes at no price paid or consequences for actions.

    1. Since the husband and I have moved so much, we live very uncluttered lives. Therefore, for Christmas, our favourite gift (since it's consumable and doesn't sit around collecting dust) from my dad is he makes us a case or two of wine.

      Unfortunately, we it usually doesn't get the chance to *age* ;)

  2. Yep, love Jayne as well. Although I did really like the interplay between Mal and Inara. And River was always my favourite character. Talk about broken.

    Favourite Jayne line: She is startin' to damage my calm.

    Snarf, you just know Jayne was NEVER calm. So damaging his calm, oooh boy, that's going to cause trouble.

    1. LOVE Jayne ;)

      I think I might have liked River more if I had seen the tv series before the movie... 'cause in the movie it's such a vast switch-up from 'crazy-girl' to 'beat-up-all-the-unkillable-baddies-girl'

      I think my favourite episode with her was the last in the series where you actually get a glimpse of being in her head and the world through her eyes.

  3. I like a character that I can relate to and yet, funnily enough, one that I can be attracted to at the same time.

    1. Agreed :)

      ...perhaps it's just that I'm attracted to irredeemable characters?

  4. I often find side characters more interesting because I think they have more freedom to behave in ways that aren't suitable for the 'hero'.

    1. Yes! They get to fool around, have fun, and say all the wrong things :)

      I think you totally nailed it, Sarah

      Brilliant :)


Type me out a line of Shakespeare or a line of nonsense. Dumb-blonde-jokes & Irish jokes will make me laugh myself silly :)