Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mr. Heartless

by Alan

Have you ever had a change of heart about a character you intended to dispatch, and found you had become attached to him or her?

Nah, I’m too heartless to become attached to any of the characters I create. They are merely pawns I manipulate in my fever-induced written fantasies. Mwa ha ha!!

Well, maybe that’s not entirely true, but I do try not to become attached to any of my characters—protagonists, villains, victims—albeit for different reasons.

Because I try to heap a lot of trouble onto my protagonists, it’s better if I’m not too “close” to them. If I became attached, it would be like seeing dear friends suffer through one tragedy after another, with the outlook only looking bleaker and bleaker. (When it comes to fiction, I suppose I’m a fair-weather friend.)

Most of my villains are nasty people, or do nasty things, or have different values than I do. Becoming attached to that type of person doesn’t seem very appealing, even if I know that they’ll get what’s coming to them in the end.

As for getting close to my victims, well, why bother? They’re not going to be around very long.

Many writers say that sometimes their characters will take on a life of their own and do things that the writers never imagined, never planned for. If a character in one of my books started freewheeling and doing things I didn’t plan (and didn’t want), I guess that would make one aspect of my plotting go a little easier.

I’d have identified my next victim.


And now, for some BSP:

Wattpad 1 My book, RUNNING FROM THE PAST, is part of the Kindle Scout program. Here’s how it works: You read an excerpt from a book; if you like it, you nominate it. Then Amazon’s Scout Team evaluates those books with the most nominations and rewards publishing contracts to those it deems worthy.

It’s like American Idol for books.

If you can spare a couple of minutes, I’d love for you to read an excerpt. Here’s the link:

A bonus: If a book you nominate goes on to get published, you get a free advance copy of the entire novel.

(And feel free to share this with all your suspense-loving friends!)



Paul D. Marks said...

Good post, Alan. And I know what you mean about not getting attached to any of our characters, though sometimes they do insinuate themselves into our lives more deeply than we might have thought they would. -- And good luck with the Kindle Scout program.

Meredith Cole said...

So far we all sound pretty heartless! Interested to hear what Art says tomorrow...

Alan Orloff said...

Thanks, Paul! Meredith, you're not heartless!

RJ Harlick said...

I was thinking the same thing, Meredith. What a bunch of heartless, cut-throat writers we are. Maybe that is why we write murder mysteries. I don't see Art being a pussycat either. But he may surprise us.