Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Perfect Storm

Bad things happen. A lot. To me. For instance, on Friday, I dropped a grocery bag full of cans and jars on my right foot. One of the cans hit the top of my foot with an audible "crunk", and a knot the size of... well, a great big knot rose on the top of my flattened flipper. I howled a little. I put a bag of frozen lima beans on it, and went about getting ready for my sons' birthday party. After the party all of my kids got sick. I know, that didn't really happen to me, but it felt like it did. I would rather be sick a hundred times over than for one of my kids to be sick, and not because I hate to see their little feverish faces. It's because I much prefer the sound of my own whining to theirs. Yesterday, I was trying to distract myself from the mounds of used tissues and popsicle sticks everywhere by playing Guitar Hero. Somehow, the guitar strap came undone from the butt of the guitar and it fell. The guitar. On my bare foot. The same one.
This time there was definitely howling. And some cussing and crying. The insides of my glasses were speckled with dried tears by the time I was able to get up off the floor. My foot looks so pretty.

So what does this have to do with writing? Well, sometimes, characters need to live their lives amid a perfect storm of nasty events. It makes them more interesting, more human, and gives insight into the way they work. Try it. Your character might not like it, but chances are, you will.

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