Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What The? Wednesdays

This is a complaint pure and simple. Thought I'd better preface it and get that part right out.

This is also something I am terribly guilty of as well.

Characters that have a skill one moment, and then the next POOF! it's gone. You know what I mean? Example: my vampire, Storm. The guy has supercharged senses. Why not? He's my vampire. But my issue? Trying to REMEMBER he had the power he had. There's a lot to remember, I know.

So in all reality, I sympathize with the authors that forget or make the super all the sudden a little more human. It means the author is human.

Now back to my complaint. The books where the super gains a power in one frickin scene. In the beginning of the book, he can leap tall buildings with a single bound, but in the middle when she's stuck on the top of the Empire State Building with the monkey, he has to climb it like any other Joe.

Or, better yet, he DOESN'T have the power untilhe needs it, then all the sudden it materializes. To me, that's like the author said, oh crap, I wrote the hero into a corner and now I have to get him out. What do I do? INVENT A POWER! If he's psychic and that's the moment he accepts and USES his gift, but he's had it all along, that's one thing. Otherwise,--and I hate this word--it sounds contrived. I got myself into a jam and this was the only way I knew to get out.

And really? It short-changes the reader, too. If the only way he can save her is to snap his fingers and plunk them into a parallel universe that didn't exist up until that part in the book, then I want to toss the book across the room never to be opened again. And yes, it doesn't matter if it's a tried and true author or a new to me author. I'll pitch a book across the room.

My point? Take an extra moment, day, week, whatever... and let the character tell you what they want to do. Don't just make them. Trust me, that's fixing yourself up for a pissed off hero. Been there, done that. If you take the extra time and care, it'll pay off big-time.


Clare Revell said...

I keep a notebook on my desk so when my hero or heroine decides they're changing their name - don't they all - or suddenly decide they can't swim, I can write it down and then go back and edit accordingly.

Mind you the name change throws the crit partner some what ;-)

Helen Hardt said...

I'm terribly guilty of this, too. It's hard to keep all those characters straight! I need to start keeping a notebook like Clare, lol.