Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Rule Breakers

"Come on, seriously?! No, no... take your heels off and you'll run faster!"  Facepalm.  "Not UP the stairs! Ugh!" Slumps into resignation of the obvious outcome of zombie/axe murder/mofia/platoon of crazed fairies chase.

Okay, so, sure we moan and groan when a character in a movie (or book) does something you obviously wouldn't do in that situation. we secretly like it?

I mean, if it's so irritating, then why, why does it happen so often in so many very popular movies/books/TV shows?  I think we, as a society, are secretly sadistic.

Or maybe not.  But maybe we like  yelling at the book/TV screen.  Maybe we like feeling smarter than the character who's about to be zombie chow.  For me, part of the fun about writing (or reading for that matter) is that the characters are allowed to make choices that your typical average Joe wouldn't make.  A great example of this that springs to mind is my Demon's Call saga.  The love triangle/choose between them thing has been done so much! And every time I groan about it.  Not because the character is wishy-washy, or something like that.  No.  My beef with it is that this is a make-believe  situation.  I read to escape things like norms and expectations.  I like fantasy.  My gut reaction to the love triangle?

Why not both?
Why not have the character make the choice that none (or not many) of us would (even though, come on, you know you're thinking it!) ?  I mean, it's fantasy. Make-believe. Fiction.

But I know there will be the naysayers out there who have to rain on our parade and tell us loopy dreamers that people are uncomfortable with things that don't fit our social norms (you know, like the ability to love more than one person... or open unrepentant threesomes ;)   Sigh.

So what do you think? Um...not just about threesomes.  What do you think about characters making those obviously unrealistic choices?  Is it okay in fiction? Expected even?  Or do you think a character has to be realistic at all times, even in their choices?

Do you ever write characters who break social norms?

I want this t-shirt!


  1. The running in heels comment made me laugh - have you noticed how many TV women detectives wear high heels then chase everyone?

    I think sometimes characters have to make unrealistic choices otherwise the books/TV shows/films would be boring. Given the choice, I probably wouldn't be the girl who follows Harry Potter into the dungeon - I'd be the girl begging to go to a different school!

  2. I think it's a good thing that the reader would be challenged with the breaking of social norms, even if it makes them uncomfortable. Hopefully, it won't take away from enjoying the piece, and will bring the social norm into question.

    1. If you can't explore these things in fiction, then where else, right? Only in novels can you be anyone you want, from a hero, to a dark mysterious villain... or, you know, a succubus :)


I'd love to hear your musings :)