A Passage From the Haunted Pen…

Here is a reality people do not seem to understand. When writing from one perspective,  one only reaches THAT targeted audience. Whether the subject be the universe, money, politics, whatever…People have their own reality and that is what they will base their judgments of any writing on. It’s the same way when it comes to life, politics, etc…People base their judgments on their own life experiences and it is not fair to condemn them based on those experiences. Everything in life is about perspective and people need to get it through their heads that not everyone will agree with what their perception of the world around them is. It is like viewing the same car accident from 2 different angles. People will see it happening slightly differently every time.

While perspective has to do with art, and how the artist sees it, and perception is about how one interprets something, both fall hand in hand when it comes to writing and/or life experiences. The writer puts the pen to paper and shares his/her interpretation of what is being discussed. It is the audience perception that determines the effectiveness of a writer’s words–and audience members will perceive the same lines differently each time!

Writers will be often misinterpreted, misunderstood and even at times maligned for the words they choose to put to paper. It comes with the territory.  They will also be maligned and such for their own personal views regardless of what they are. That is why I said in an earlier post, there is no need for anyone to have to justify what their opinions are or why they have them  to anyone else.  They are what they are. No writer, artist, actor or whatever is obligated to say, “I feel this way because I…” to anyone, be it a reporter or an armchair expert.  It is not like anyone would be able to change the mind of the author anyway.

My number one rule is as a writer, I will never try to justify what characters represent, why plot lines are written as they are and/or why I do not concern myself with being politically or socially correct when it comes to them.   That does not matter. What matters is being that they represent something from my own life’s perspective, the real question should be “Why reveal them in the way I chose to?”  That is something I have yet to see asked of any writer.  Much of the time they have been asked to justify why they have their characters say or do certain things.  That is the part the reader gets to figure out. I use them to point the direction in solving the entire puzzle. I certainly won’t divulge it in my notes either. It is easy to get lost in the real purpose if one gets hung up on the attitudes/actions of one or two characters.

Why read a book and then ask such a question about it anyway? All characters can be used to drive home several points within the same plot, I believe–as long as a writer does not write a long, drawn out work that is as confusing as Cubist art can be…Yes, it’s about PERCEPTION and Cubist art confounds me and amazes me at the same time.

 

Now you KNOW why it confuses me.

Now you KNOW why it confuses me.

What I will say is that the characters, to me are real. They have a life of their own and they haunt me, and when they do, they come out through the pen.  They can fend for themselves once out there on the page. All I do is play God and bring them to life and/or kill them off when they’ve finally incurred my eternal wrath.

 

The blah blah blah of Writing…Characterization and random thoughts…

Have you ever reached a point to where you just want to kill off every character you put in your own story, much like they did in the “Black Adder” series once?  Well I have…I have heard it all this week…”Send the character over the cataract or make them a bloody messiah!”, “Give your main character a tragic flaw”, etc…etc…etc…

When breathing life into or smothering my characters to death, I do not see the logic in having   “A” tragic flaw rather than several.  I also see no logic for NOT having at least one sardonic bitch in my story be it male or female. I have met men who make better bitches than some of the other females that I encounter anyway.  I also like putting dark wit wherever possible.  Also my “villain”  might be someone people can actually empathize with–much to my mentor’s dismay…She likes villains to be pure a-holes–clearly defined as EVIL.  Why?  In reality you can say Charles Manson is an ultimate villain of sorts. But in reality, was Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton or even Obama?  OR is it a matter of perception only?  It’s just a thought I felt that I should toss about because anyone who has ever been pissed at a politician of either side of the coin can relate to it.  Better yet, are WE our own worst enemies in labeling people as such?  Hmmm…What a question to pose given the political climate of the past 35 years or so…The “villains” I had most empathy for in my lifetime were Barnabas Collins of  “Dark Shadows” (the 1992 version with Ben Cross–it seemed more plausible and realistic) and  Bruce Dern‘s portrayal of  astronaut Freeman Lowell in “Silent Running” (1972).   Quite frankly, I’d really LOVE  to see Mr. Cross and Mr. Dern work together…I know it probably will not happen, but they are both freaking brilliant in their portrayals of any character thrown at them.

I also had a tremendous empathy for Jonathan Frid‘s version of Barnabas…I felt that he was “bullied” by Angelique.  If I had met Lara Parker as a child, I am 100% certain that I would have kicked her in the shins and ran for my dear life! I was a kindergartener that ran home every day to watch the original version!

For those who have never seen “Silent Running” I strongly urge you to watch it.  Here is a damned good clip with Mr. Dern here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ji67t8xJF-s

And for those of you who really admire how Ben Cross played Barnabas, here is a clip–which he played pretty damned well, I might add…I used a clip showing the bad side of him too–and after watching it, I certainly wouldn’t want to be on that actor’s shit list! Not that he’d be like this, but that voice alone would definitely command some freaking respect, don’t you think? :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_zoTfRmm9o

Anyway there are times I write purely for my amusement and my version of Dark Shadows is one of those projects…One can tell when they read it, it is much inspired not just by my love of the show, but from movies such as “Spirit of the Beehive”, “Frankenstein”, “Paperhouse”, which is a strange movie but deals with the perspective of child emotions rather well, and I also deal with the perspective of a severely abused child–my main character, who thinks that while Barnabas guided her from his crypt, was only an imaginary friend. Barnabas, however, was meant to guide her in the present time.  Much of their encounters took place prior to her departure from Collinsport at age 8 to attend private school in Boston, per Elizabeth and Roger after they get guardianship of her.

In my version, the child is going to grow up to be the catalyst for resolving all things past and present.  I was really pissed off that Barnabas “declared” his love for Angelique in the end of the ’72 series when in fact, any psychotic bitch that did to a man what she did to him would never have been loved, but rather LOATHED.  To me that was unrealistic and done in haste.

While I am not giving my whole story away, I am going to point out there that I only wrote it because I get pissed off at all the crap that people toss  about with regard to characterization.  To resolve it and answer questions as to HOW Barnabas  knows about certain aspects of technology and historical information in the present, an outside character really has to be used for this. The characters of Willy, Maggie and others are “boxed” in due to the original adaptations of it, so I dug my own “good little girl” in the form of my character from the deepest recesses of the pit of my imagination.  Believe me, given what she has endured at the hands of her crazy bitch mother, the fact that she is actually “good” is amazing–but there are flaws she has…She trusts nobody-really…She keeps to herself even as a celebrity, and she feels that all she experienced was in her imagination.  She fears things that she remembers from time to time.  Her best friend up until she returns to Collinsport (outside of her band) is her dog…Can you fans of the ’92 series guess what I named him?    😀

I will reveal one thing…If anyone plays the part of the ghost of my new character’s dad someday (if I ever get this out there), I hope to hell it’s  Matthew McConaughey because he’d be perfect for that part.  As for the part of younger Barnabas there would have to be two younger people playing him as a boy and a young man, and then an older man to play him at age 50-55 (the namesake) in the present time.  Don’t ask…I won’t tell how that works, but it’s in there 🙂 !  I dug deeper than hell to explain things in a logical light…That time-space continuum that my character has to fix is a bitch to deal with but I finally worked it out…

Now for the big decision…Do I make my characters “messianic” and admirable, make them grey or send them all over the bloody cataract?  Stay tuned…Same bat time! Same bat channel!