Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Hate to Tell You This...

It has become a habit-by-negligence for you to replace such terms as dislike, or strongly dislike, or abhor with the word "hate."  You cannot place where this trespass onto the turf of hatred began, which makes you suspect it has been some time in the making.  Such things begin easily enough, I hate the though of going there.  I hate having to do that.  Even to the point of "hating" a particular person whom, in more temperate moments, you'd be more than content to merely dislike or, even less, disagree with.  Thus do such things as hatred escalate, perhaps as a more visible symptom of a discontent with a particular thing or things in your life at the moment.

As some racial- and genital-related epithets are becoming taboo words in the conventional world about you, hate is beginning to assume such a cause celebre within you because of what hatred says to you on sober reflection.  Hatred speaks to all the significant social frictions abroad in the multifarious walkways of today's society.

These paragraphs are prologue to the recognition that you must learn exterior to deal with the inflation of dislike to the upper reaches of hatred and as well, you must learn to deal in more conscious fashion than you already do with the interior or writing-related aspects of hatred.

It is a splendid idea to chose persons whom in reality you dislike, or possibly dislike intensely, then corral them to serve as an armature about which you wrap other necessary traits to represent characters who are necessary adjuncts for your stories.  Individuals who are so purely dislikable are easy to spot; every adjective or adverb you throw at them must come out because they reek of your prejudice toward the real individual.  The consequence is that your portrayal of a dislikable or difficult character becomes exaggerated, reaches the inflated real estate of evil for the sake of evil, which by your own definition is no longer real, is an abstraction, counter to your wishes when it comes to creating characters.

You must work at such characters until you are able to be comfortable with them, finding ways to see some admirable qualities about them.  Even when you were in your teens, writing your way toward some measure of understanding, it would make your teeth grind when some fellow wannabe writer wrote a story in which the entire motivation of a character centered on his or her tenuous hold on reality and sanity.  You wanted to burst forth with some expletive to the effect that craziness is barely sufficient cause, much less is it necessary cause.

It is none of your business as a person that some of your characters may be mean spirited or hateful; such characters were created for the characters you care for to cope with.  You must be indulgent of both, capisce?  

This may have no effect whatsoever on the persons you dislike or the things you dislike in real life; you would be riding for a fall were you to think this awareness can give you better marks in the so-called people skills. 

It is not even a matter of some judgmental license; you will go about, disliking those persons you dislike, dreading certain chores or events, being quite at odds with aspects of The Social Contract you recognize only as concept and not as acute muscle memory behavior.

Working on such a character now, it has become easy, almost fun, to turn the process of disliking his real life counterpart into someone of dramatic interest.  Well and good, you tell the character.  But just wait until it is reality time again and you see the individual.  Just wait.


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