Sunday, February 17, 2013

Vatican Cameos

Hello again. It's been a momentous few days.

I have had thoughts in those days, and nearly come to the end of another gothic romance. It is all written except for the epilogue, where the story is wound up, love declared, satisfaction guaranteed. I am feeling all sorts of feelings. I will try to rein them in enough to make a semi-meaningful blog post.

The fabulous Lara Pulver (Irene Adler on Sherlock) linked to this fabulous thing, either written or answered by John C. Reilly at The Guardian. In it, he says this:

Every person is the star of their life story. No one goes through the world thinking: "Well, I'm just a cameo." So even if a character has just one scene, I have to do it right. I've got to come up with their whole world view.

I know that Stephen King has said something very similar about characters in stories, but I've never been able to find the exact words. But it is something that he is amazing at, and something I appreciated even as a kid, before I knew I would want to be a writer, before I even knew what it was to be a discriminating reader. He introduces you to someone and you are there. Even when he breaks away from the people you've come to know and love (I'm thinking The Stand or Needful Things -which are filled with vignettes of random people living their lives, being affected by the plot, but not part of the larger story) and he grounds it in reality. You go down the paths he clears for you without question.

Because he treats them all like the stars of the story.

I think the same goes for villains, and it's something I struggled with in my writing when I began. My villains didn't have meat on their bones. They were just the bad guys. But that doesn't work. They have to be people. They can't think of themselves as the bad guys. They have to think their goal is either the right one, or the more righteous. 

These are just the things I've been thinking about. That, and the end of the book. It's been too long. I will be glad to be done with it and then I have to figure out which book I go on to edit. I have two really good things, one questionable, and one viable, but not agent or big house worthy. It's a genre problem. 

Onward my friends. Hate to drop science on you and run, but I have a full docket today. And an epilogue to contemplate. Happy writing and reading.


  1. Wise Writing Fairy is wise. Be the bad; feel the bad; write the bad; show the bad! *spontaneous banana dance!*

  2. *counters banana with snoopy*

    :) thank you for comin' to the blahg! :)

  3. My bad guys don't know they're bad. They just always seem to be angry at the world and people are all moronic. lol

    Love me some villains.

  4. Where are the heroes without a good villain, right? :) Thank you for stopping by!

  5. Good villains are a necessity!

    (good that an oxymoron?)