|"And Lo, with my cart I shall smite thy ankles..."|
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
The Trouble With Smiting Envy
If any of those last three scenarios ring true to you, then Congratulations: You’re well on your way to villainy! Maybe not on a world domination level, but you’re certainly not alone in your secret evil-doer desires. In fact, just last night Steven made me aware of one of my own villainous day dreams I've been living out through my writing, completely unaware (or in denial), of course.
We were trying to leave Publix during rush hour and it turned into a game of Dodge the Idiot about to back into you, Dodge the Idiot about to walk into your car, and ended with sitting stuck behind the person who took a good 5 minutes to decide which way to turn. That trip gave me a fresh reason to curse someone on an average of every five seconds. And curse them I did! That was when Steven made the connection for me: “It’s a good thing you don’t have a smiting problem,” he said.
But oh, how I wish I did!
The smiting problem referenced is a constant growing pain of the young demi-goddess Trotter in my fantasy series. Her smiting finger has a mind of its own; anytime something frightens her or just particularly irritates her, her out-of-control powers decide to smite the offender for her. Usually it’s by accident. But Steven made me realize that I’ve been writing my own secret revenge dreams not into my villains, but into my hero! I’ve had a ton of fun writing about the smiting debacles, but with her it’s an unconscious reaction rather than a conscious intent to burst some annoying person into flames.
Maybe it’s because I managed to sneak my own villainous urges into my hero that I didn't recognize it for what it was – apparently my guilty subconscious pulled that one off right under my nose – but now that I've made that connection to Trotter, I feel like I’m more open to explore this dark side that I've already planted in her from my own evil roots. Even heroes blow up at people when they’re stressed (notice I said blow up AT people, not blow people up), so it might even help me make her a more tangible character as I work my way through this series. Nobody can believe in a perfect hero anymore, after all.
I think my next writing exercises are all going to involve putting her in some dark scenarios and letting her just do what comes naturally. Besides… I have to make a Walmart trip again soon and I’m sure I’ll have plenty of pent-up villainous urges to deal with J
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