Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ell-Oh-Ell. Jay-Kay

Today, I have decided to do something a little different. I'll be writing this entire post in French!

Très drôle. Je blague.

Which translates roughly into: LOL, J/K.

I'd never do that to you. Besides, the only French I know is "Hello." "1,2,3,4,5,6." and "I need some toilet paper."

So, what then, am I writing about today? How about some Character Development? Yeah, that sounds good. 

Yesterday, in "The Few, The Proud, The 238" group, some of us got into a discussion about Heroines (stop laughing, immature people!) that weren't ALL good. Right now, it's important to have a character with flaws. A flawless, goody-two-shoes main character is, in my opinion, as boring as papier toilettes (toilet paper).

As you've seen in my current series, The Death of Me, Katie (my main character, or MC) is very focused on finishing out her Life List before she dies in thirty days. Katie's a joker, she's an outcast. She only has one friend in high school, and tends to stick to herself. Katie also watches A LOT of film. She makes many references to her favorite shows or movies. Here are a few:

Book #1 (The Death of Me)

The second bell rang. The three of us began walking in the direction of the cafeteria. “But his timing sure is atrocious.”
“You and your vocabulary,” Sherry muttered.
“I like it,” Martin interjected. “It shows she’s smart.”
“Yeah, well no one asked you.”  She shot him a sideways glare.
“People don’t have to ask for my opinion.” He snorted.
“That’s right; it just shoots out like pea soup from the mouth of the devil.” I grinned.   

Book #2 (The Death of My First Assignment)

“Hmm…” He glanced above me into the kitchen. “Hey… There’s a Kubrick marathon that starts in ten minutes. Take your mind off the job for a few hours. You interested?”
I tilted my head to one side. “Open the pod bay doors, Kevin.”

Book #3 (The Death of My Best Friend)

“What are you, some kind of perverted half-wolf?” I pushed against his sinewy chest. 
He studied me for a moment, then smiled again. “So... Samantha you are not.”
I nodded dramatically. “That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you, Yoda. I—” I stopped, his words sinking in. “You’re actually looking for Sam?”

Book #4 (The Death of His Tribe)

“Okay, I officially feel like I’m stuck in an episode of Poirot.” I peered into the dark office and watched Martin’s back as he fiddled with the lock on Margie’s file cabinet.
“I say...”
“What did you find, Captain Hastings?” I asked in a faux French accent. “Is it the jewels Masseur Lavington hid in the...Chinese...Box...? Okay, I’ll stop, now.” 

Book #5 (Untitled)

“These are beautiful moments--these less-than-rare moments when Starscream gets his butt kicked twice by Megatron in five minutes...” 

Katie is notorious for her sarcastic comments and using them in every day life as though her existence is a film. But, like anyone else, she has her flaws. She's a tad judgmental of others:

When she shook her head, I almost judged her sanity right then and there. 
“No. It happened to me once before when I took acid.”
I did my best to hold in my hum of disapproval. It came out as a half-cough instead. She didn’t seem to notice. 

“Well, what have you never done?” Kevin asked. 
“Besides heroine?”
I winced, and unfortunately, she saw it. 
“Gimme a break, Miss Pure. I’m eighteen, I’ve tried it all.” She rolled her eyes. 

To me, being judgmental of others is a huge flaw. People should let others be the way they are. Who cares what they do as long as it isn't hurting you? But, Katie just can't seem to let people be who they are. 

However, her other, more major flaw, is that she can't seem to stop helping people. Regardless of whether or not they like her, are horrible to her, or she doesn't even know them. And it gets her into trouble:

“It’s only a few more days, I—”
“No.” He shook his head. “So, it’s a few more days now, but what about next time? What about next time you wanna help somebody? What lengths are you going to go to then? How much danger are you willing to put yourself in, Katie?”
I narrowed Sam’s eyes. How could I have answered that?
“I’m not willing to see you get hurt. I’m not willing to lose you.” 

In the end, character flaws are important. And it's how the character deals with them that makes the reader either love or hate them. Sherlock Holmes was overly intelligent. He could solve any case. But he was rude, short-tempered, and addicted to Opium. Those are some heavy flaws. 

If you were to write a character, what kinds of flaws would he or she have? Do you think Katie's flaws are too much? Would you like to read about her adventures in the afterlife?

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