Those Sadistic Little Things We Do To Our Characters
Posted on January 9, 2014
I have a fallback for blog post ideas; my friend Jeff Adkins. He started this neat little Facebook group for bloggers to generate ideas to write about and also to do so at least once a week. Consistency is a wonderful thing. And once everybody is up to speed doing it once a week, they can move on to additional days if they so choose. What’s nice, too, is when someone other than Jeff or myself suggests a topic. One came in for this week and I’m rather intrigued by it. Another author wanted to know the worst thing we ever did to a character and where did we get the idea. Hmm…
Okay, let’s take it one book at a time. Lemme see, I gave poor Andy Stevenson in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation the perfect first potential boyfriend in the form of Jordan. He (Jordan) was hot, interested, hot, well-endowed, interested, patient, hot and did I mention well-endowed and interested? But then I made him a cousin, except by marriage only, so that turned out to be okay. However, that being said, Andy was only in California for a couple of days, so falling in love wasn’t exactly a good idea. I gaveth and I tooketh awayeth. I did allow him to lose his virginity, so at least he had that. Where did I get the idea? I’m married to an Asian. Being sadistic like that is a way of life.
Andy came back in Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins and squared off against his worst nightmare, Tristan. You see, Tristan is that guy we’ve all run into at some point in our life, the hot one we all want to be with, who charms us and eventually finds his way into our pants, then moves on rather quickly to the next hot conquest and leaving us feel like complete and total shit. Then, just when we think we’ve moved on, he comes back wanting a bit more because nobody else is filling up his social calendar. Yes, even I haven’t been spared this experience prior to meeting Honorable Husband. The difference is that Andy at least gets even. Well, I kinda did, too.
This brings us to Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell. What’s the worst I did to a character there? I probably put Nicholas in the unfortunate position of needing to protect the love of his life from trained killers. Anthony understands tech like the back of his hand, but Nicholas is the physical one. So while he (Nicholas) barely understands technology, he has to make sure Anthony doesn’t stray into an assassin’s reach. This causes him some discomfort and a sword through his shoulder, plus he’s denied any form of a sexual outlet while surrounded by many things to entice him. Poor buggar. Again, I’d say the idea came from my own life. I’m constantly denied sexual outlets, too, but only because it amuses Honorable Husband.
Gaylias 2, which I’m writing, does do something pretty sadistic to one of the characters. I don’t want to give much or anything away, but there’s a character who faces his deepest, darkest fear—one of loss—in the story. Why would I do this? Partially because experiences like that can bring people together in a way they weren’t before. Facing life and death does something to you. And to make it personal makes one realize just how precious life is, makes one look at how they’re living and wonder if it’s really the best way to live. It’s also an exploration of this theme for me, too.
Now, Spacehunters? I think the most damage I inflicted in this story was on readers of the romance genre. That wasn’t intentional, though. It was simply collateral damage. I think I was rather sadistic to Jayden at times. The poor guy knew that Chase’s grandmother was out to kill him, only he didn’t know just how far she was willing to go. Making it worse is that Chase didn’t believe him or think his grandmother capable of such an act. He was wrong. Where did I get the idea? One doesn’t need a therapist to tell you that it was me working out my issues with Ralph’s Hong Kong grandmother.
Sweet little old lady my adorably cute white ass.
There’s some conflict in the upcoming Twink Ninja Tiger, Flaxen Buns Of Fury, only I’m going to save that for a future date. The first round of edits are complete, so I’m not waiting for line edits. Once those are in, I’ll start gearing up for the promo push. I’m looking forward to sharing it with readers, especially since my editor is currently the ONLY person who’s read it. No betas were used in the making of this short story. None. I’ve never done that before.
So keep warm (those of you in chilly places) and stay away from the masses (those of you who’ve come down sick or at risk of coming down sick)!
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
6 Responses to “Those Sadistic Little Things We Do To Our Characters”
January 9, 2014 at 9:45 am
Nice bit do you feel,that giving your characters angst helps or hinder their growth. Do you ever do HEA with your characters. His grandmother is a sweet eccentric old lady.
January 9, 2014 at 10:03 am
J.P. Barnaby and I have had a couple of discussions about this. There has to be tension in a story, otherwise why read it? It would be fairly dull. So if there’s tension, there will be some form of angst that one or more characters must attempt to overcome. Some may, some may not. That’s the journey right there. And it should help and hinder them in some ways. They can gain experience, but they may lose innocence. It’s perhaps a trade-off.
Can’t think of a time when I’ve done a HEA at all. At least not yet. I have considered writing a book that jumps ahead many decades and gives an idea of where I see many of the characters I’ve written going later in life. Don’t know that will ever happen, but at least I kind of know.
January 9, 2014 at 10:14 am
Your “problem,” as I see it, is that you don’t write fiction, you write autobiography as reflected in a crazy-house mirror. (Oh, wait…I guess that’s what most authors do!)
January 9, 2014 at 12:08 pm
That’s really odd you mention the crazy-house mirror, D. A reader from Germany told me several years ago that’s how I write. We chatted for a bit in e-mail, then he said I essentially write myself and people I know, but through a fun house mirror. I guess it’s true.
Summer (Decadent Kane) says:
January 9, 2014 at 11:39 am
Good post. I find it interesting what authors see as being the worst they have done to their characters and ultimately it makes me wonder- do the readers see it the same way? (rhetorical of course)
Have a great day!
January 9, 2014 at 12:12 pm
You bring up a very good question. There are things readers have seen in my books that I either completely glossed over or that left me with no impression at all. It’s weird when that happens. Even the story that’s in the editing stages with the publisher right now has had that happen. Guess that’s the beauty of it.
Reminds me of the theory of reader response.