Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Being Mean

I typically am not a mean person. It's in my genes to be a people pleaser. I blame my mother (or I should probably thank her).

Don't get me wrong, I've had my moments of being kind of ... (cough, cough), but I usually feel guilty about it and apologize afterwards.

I've been working on my current WIP and I got to 15K and realized something. I'm not being mean enough. I'm not throwing enough obstacles at my main character. I've made her life too easy.

So instead of doing a full NaNo, I'm going to do a half, because I'm going to start again and throw as many darts at my character as I can. They might not all stick, but I need to continually make her life harder, at least until the end.

How about you? Do you have a hard time putting your character is bad or awkward situations?

18 comments:

Carolyn V said...

I have a hard time with that too. As a matter of fact, on of my crit partners told me to be really mean to my character in one scene. I'm a little scared to go back and revise it.

Miranda Hardy said...

I didn't in my first book, but I'm wondering if I'm going easy in the second. I guess I'll have to wade through it and see what happens. I don't want a boring book.

Brenda Drake said...

It's tough to be mean when you were raised to be nice. I'm getting a tough skin now, and I take out my frustrations on my characters. LOL Good luck with your half NaNo! <3

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I'm actually re-writing more darts in right now! :-)

i'm erin. said...

Oh Dang! You're going to start again? I had to do this once. I wrote an entire book, and realized that I was never mean to my MC. It kind of stunk because I had to re-write it.

Melissa Marsh said...

I've had this problem, too. I think it's in our nature to want the best for our characters, but that doesn't make our stories very readable!

Christina Lee said...

Totally!!! But it's getting easier with each one!! :D

mshatch said...

well...no. I actually enjoy discovering new and inventive ways to make things hellishly hard for my characters.

Saumya said...

What a great observation! I have the same problem but never tied with my sad default state of being a people pleaser (blame my mother as well). I ask myself "what can go wrong?" with each chapter to make sure that there's something "bad" happening throughout the book.

Ruth Josse said...

I totally have this problem! Everything nice and pretty does not make good tension. Sometime I even have a hard time thinking of bad things that can happen. :)

Monica B.W. said...

Yeah, I have this problem too!!
And I'm sorry you'll do half NaNo...but at least it's only Nov 10th and you still have 20 days to go! :D
I'm doing NaNoReaMo so I won't have this problem now, lolol! <3

LTM said...

YES! Omg, I struggle w/this all the time. In my last MS, I finally broke free and was able to do something really terrible to my MC. And then I was in a funk for like a week. :D LOL! *sigh* glad I'm not alone~

LynNerdKelley said...

I know what you mean. It's so hard to make our characters suffer, isn't it. Good for you for recognizing the problem and going back to fix it. Best of luck with the rewrites!

....Petty Witter said...

Not a writer BUT as I'm a people pleaser as well I'd have to create a character who was truly evil, who would do all kinds od horrendous deeds.

Peggy Eddleman said...

Um, yes. Totally. It a lot of times takes SEVERAL rounds of revisions before I totally get it there. I'm doing TONS better on throwing stuff at my characters than I used to, but I still have a hard time with random people being mean. You know-- the characters that AREN'T the antagonist.

Candice said...

I think maybe I have the opposite problem. I throw too many obstacles and have to relieve the tension for my MC from time to time. I also have to make sure I'm not being too cliche.

Heidi Willis said...

I so get this!! I think I fall in love with my characters, and I really don't want them to get hurt either. They're like my kids. I mean, I wouldn't purposely make their lives difficult, right?

But that doesn't make for interesting stories, protecting them all the time, does it? :(

Sometimes you just gotta be mean.

Gail Shepherd said...

Nope, I have to say, I love torturing them. It's *loving* torture, though.