I’m going to stand upon my table and admit to something, something heinous and terrible, awful and appalling, tragic and- fine. I’ll stop.
I can’t stand awkwardness – there, I said it.
I can’t watch it and certainly can’t read it. It’s like sucking on a lemon or, or swallowing a hair (can’t get much worse than that). I cringe for the characters and skip the scene because I just can’t stand seeing people suffering so.
Now this … is a problem. (I’ve climbed down from the table by the way.)
Because if I’m so invested in fictional characters that other people have created … then what about the characters I have created? Because if you love something/one you want to protect it/them. In the case of your character you want life to go smoothly for them – even when they are going through conflict.
I guess the thing is that if you get too attached to a character you can’t actually write them to the fullness that they deserve. Real life people aren’t saints; they learn lessons and promptly unlearn them. You can’t learn a life lesson during the period of one song … (actually you can, but it’s a little like going ‘pffffft’ to reality). Real life people are infinitely more fascinating than fictional characters because well, they muck up. Again and again. They rise and be heroic only to fail the very next day, (of course I’m not referring to me because … oh wait.)
They are human.
If you are too attached to a character you can’t fully put ’em through the mill – and let’s be honest, in life you aren’t gently put through the mill.
It’s more of a black and blue process.
Anyway … I think I need a conclusion here because when you ramble often the subject goes ‘zoom’ out of the window, (did you know that there is a word for that – Defenestration? It means to throw something or someone out of the window, in this case, the subject of this post).
Conclusion: Don’t be afraid to put your characters through suffering/pain/embarrassment/mistakes. It isn’t sadism – it’s realism.