It’s finally here! The weekend! I am gonna shoot some arrows, eat some jerky, hit the NSW Art Gallery (in the “let’s go see it” sense, not the Ocean’s Eleven one)… I might even do some writing.
There’s a certain resistance I face when writing scenes in which the lead would respond ruthlessly. He is a pirate, after all. It’s just a bit hard to write a sympathetic character who would happily run a man through, if the situation made it the most prudent course of action. I blame Disney for this squeamishness.
I want to treat the character a bit like Austin Powers at the movie’s beginning, only with slaughter instead of shagging. He won’t have a sudden epiphany that killing is wrong (which I should point out: I-the-author am fairly convinced that this is the case), but he will gradually start to empathise. Not with victims, but with others who hold more conservative views about right and wrong.
Today I had to force myself to write that my pirate drew his sword to run through a wounded navy officer. It was just what he would do at this early point in the story. I’m not saying he was allowed to go through with it…
But I couldn’t write it any other way. I think the most disappointing thing we can see in any fiction is a character not acting true. It’s why most long running TV series have appalling finales: because if they acted true to their characters it wouldn’t end.
Do you ever have to be firm with yourself about what a character would or wouldn’t do?
Also, is it okay to open a beer at 8am if the world cup is on?