Writing Scenes with Assholes in Them

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Writing Scenes with Assholes in Them

Postby Baker » 28 Sep 2012, 14:48

I put myself in a foul mood the other day, because I was writing a scene where POV character had a confrontation with a complete prick. This guy is such a piece of work. Entitled to the nth. Arrogant. Thin-skinned. Bullying. In other words, an utterly insuferable arsehole. Why, yes, just the ideal person to make my character suffer a scene with. Trouble is, of course, I have to go along for the ride with her. :pms:

In some ways, I find it worse to write about a clash like this than to actually experience one. After all, in real life I only experience it once and from inside my head. When writing a scene, I have to go through it from both character's points of view. And writing it takes a lot longer than it would to read or enact.

Anyone else find themselves in bad moods simply because of what they've written?
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities ~ Voltaire
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Re: Writing Scenes with Assholes in Them

Postby PaulaO » 29 Sep 2012, 05:18

The power of the scene doesn't often hit me when I am writing it but does when I edit or read the next day. Not often a bad mood but I do cry a lot. I'd rather be in a bad mood, thanks.

Some scenes, though, I can't stop writing because the emotion of it won't let me. In To Sleep, the MC is basically being tortured and then dissected while alive and awake. I wrote that in one go. I couldn't stop. Partly because I was afraid if I stopped, I'd lose that tension. But mostly because I just couldn't. I was so caught up in it.

It's been, what, 7 yrs since I originally wrote BGFA? I still cry when I read the scene where Lucy apologizes to Kelli. Not that it is that teary a scene, but I remember what I was feeling as I wrote it. I can feel their emotions stronger because it was in me.
Take a deep breath and count to zen.
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Re: Writing Scenes with Assholes in Them

Postby Mara » 18 Oct 2012, 14:08

Writing scenes with assholes is one of my biggest weaknesses, actually. I just can't do it all that well. I always have this overwhelming urge to make everyone unrealistically sympathetic, even if they're genocidal racist aliens or crazed gods or bigoted old jerks. I instinctively try to moderate conflicts between real-life people I know, and tend to just try to find ways that everyone can get along, so I have to work against my nature when I write at times.

And it's also hard for me to understand and write people who are just outright unreasonable assholes, so I always find myself trying to come up with some kind of rational reason for them to act a certain way. (It might be wrong or selfish or evil, but it's rational, at least.) Which can be good for certain characters, but quite a bit of the world's asshole quotient comes from simple stupidity, not any sort of reason.

Usually, my best way for getting around it is imagining some asshole who really bothers me in real life, write them in the situation, and then file off the serial numbers and change a few traits so they're not recognizable. It still gets my blood pressure up, though.
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Re: Writing Scenes with Assholes in Them

Postby Baker » 19 Oct 2012, 07:40

Yeah, that challenge of trying to climb into the head of someone you think is an idiot or holds unreasonable views is one of the biggest for me. Having to understand how someone acts like a complete douche, or is able to ignore reality so that they can continue to believe a completely wrong ideology, is about the ultimate mental exercise, I find.
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities ~ Voltaire
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