Yes, Sage O'Riley from my book series THE CHOSEN FOUR (most notably, ON THE BRINK) and her post on How to Deal with Stupid Authors won the poll. However, to be fair to the many who voted otherwise, next time Mandy Gale from THE PSYCHIC STORY will be doing a guest post on stereotypes along with Darren Beamer.
Thanks for hanging in there, and enjoy the Sage! I was surprised, actually, at how much writing advice she had stored up in her brain.
Hello. Sage O'Riley here.
Before you start saying stupid things like "This post is on authors?" and "Wait, you know you're a book character?" and "That must be weird," let me just cut in and say the answer to all of your statements/questions is yes. Yes, I know I'm a book character. Yes, it's weird, but probably no weirder than you all who know you're being watched over and guided by God. Except God is perfect, and authors are not. Which is why I'm here to tell any you readers, and any other character who happens to have been granted momentary real-life computer access, how to deal with them.
Yes, I'm here, on the computer, freed from the cage of Kira's mad head in order to tell you all How to Deal with Stupid Authors.
Now shut up and let me talk.
In order to understand this post, you first have to understand the unfortunate mind of the author, Kira. I don't know how it is for other authors and stories, but this is how it worked for us. See, me and the others, our story, it was out there kind of floating in the universe, not completely formed. It was like... like in that book by Roald Dahl, The BFG, where dreams float around in the air.
Shut up. I like kids' books. I like all books. If you know anything about books, this is totally logical. Let me talk.
So Kira, like a lot of other artists, is especially in tune to these ideas floating around, and when we came by, it clicked. We picked her, she picked us, whatever. Either way, idea meet author. So Kira started writing from the base idea that had come to her, and that is how we came to exist as full-blown human beings. Yes, characters are human beings. Unless they're elves or dwarves or something... In any case, we have minds of our own, once we've been conceived. Any good character out there knows this.
Once we became full characters, and the base idea was completed, the situation changed. Now, Kira and us characters had to work as equal partners in the story. Any of you who know me at all know how much I hate having to collaborate, especially with someone who has so much control. But that's the situation with these books. Kira controls the situation, we control our reactions.
So yes, I know I'm a character. I've had to work with this idiot author for the past five years, although luckily the main writing part was over within one. The thing is, she controls the situation. We characters live the life she makes for us, the same way you all live in this universe controlled by God, or the Great Spirit, or science, or whatever it is you believe. The part where we're actually characters doesn't come into the actual story, but that's how the story is made. I've gotten in plenty of arguments with Kira about how things should go. But, like in your lives, we don't have much control over what happens, just over what we do. Kira has the power, which (and don't tell her this) is what defines our relationship. I hate her because she has control over what happens to me, but I'm also forever grateful to her for bringing me to life and giving me a story to tell. It's freaking confusing.
So here are some tips on how to deal with stupid authors, from me to you:
1) One thing you might not know about authors is that they are fantastic at torturing characters. That's their job, after all. There's no story if nothing's at stake. Unfortunately, that really sucks for us.
Did you think Kira was all sweet and innocent? Not when it comes to us. Actually, she has stated on many occasions that I'm one of her favorite characters to mess with. She loves to see how I'll react to all the crap she throws at me, and frankly, it drives me nuts. I wonder sometimes if torturing fictional characters is her way of getting back at the world for what it's done to her. Whatever that is. Ours is a strictly professional relationship; I don't know the details of her life.
So when an author throws something in the way of challenges at you... unfortunately, you have to take it and run. Otherwise it'll get worse. Actually, it gets worse a lot of the time anyway. But Kira does know what she's doing, I guess, so in the end, it'll work out. She's decently benevolent when it comes to endings.
2) Every once in a while, writers will get off their game in the middle of our story. This actually happened in my series, twice, although it was during the third book, so, mostly Hunter's problem, not mine. The main thing when this happens is that the author is not listening to us.
At this point, authors usually lose it a little. It's good to stay out of their way, as hard as that might seem. It will be very tempting as a character to yell at them even more. But unfortunately, writers are really stubborn, slightly stupid people, and they're going to have to figure this out themselves. Good news is, if you two are actually compatible, they will. It'll take a while, but they'll get there.
Eventually they'll realize they've had their hands over their ears and start listening to the characters again. I repeat, us characters are real people. We are not going to cooperate if you start trying to make us do something we wouldn't actually do. Let us react on our own. You already have the situational power, goshdarnit.
3) If you are a character in the situation where the author has gotten off thanks to not listening to you, once the author remembers you, start talking, but be patient. You might have to work backwards to help them figure out where they went wrong and how to deal with the changed situation. The worst part of this is that all you characters involved in the scenes gone wrong are going to have to work together. Yes, even you and your mortal enemy. It sucks, I know. But the thing is, books don't work unless all characters have their say. Writers have to listen to both the angel and the devil on their shoulders. And by devil. I completely and totally mean Quinn.
I could probably go on for days about this, but that pretty much sums it up, I suppose. Your tips for dealing with authors. I guess these could also be tips for authors on dealing with characters. Yeah, give us a break, guys. I mean, as much as you can. What with... plot, and all.
I hate you guys.
Images via hubpages.com, fishduck.com, and blogs.disney.com.
I'm an unpublished novelist, primarily of YA fantasy, and a freelance editor. I love psychology, cats, social justice, and love! I'm also a huge fangirl. Basically, stories are my life.
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