Wednesday, May 13, 2009

’But my character is so COOL...’

...and your writing still sucks.

One of the things that I've started noticing in aspiring fantasy writers is that, rather than working on the craft of writing, they're convinced that if the idea is cool enough, the story will be cool.

Not so much.

Please, please, no more vampires, werewolves, vampire/werewolf/elf/ninja/pirates(yep, I actually saw one of those).  Tortured souls in the rain seems to be popular as well - except these 'dark silouhettes' always seem to be 'bourne upon the wind'  on high 'spires' while 'lurking in drenched pain heart-rivers'(if you can find a more obtuse and poorly worded way of saying 'standing outside like a dumbass on the highest point in a thunderstorm', let me know).

I have a thought for you: Stephen King.

While the most successful horror writer of our time has touched upon all sorts of otherworldly beasties, his main characters tend to be very everyday folks.

Yet somehow, these 12 year old kids, small town cops, struggling writers, etc, are some of the strongest characters in modern literature(yes, I consider King to be literature).


They're real.  They are fully formed, well rounded people, with strengths, weaknesses, fears, joys, histories, and above all: WRITTEN WELL.  Some of his bit players, I wouldn't be suprised to see pop up on a small town street to say 'Ayuh'.

If all it took were 'cool' characters, every piece of eye bleeding, giggle inducing, or just plain painful fanfiction based on a masterpiece would be on the bestseller list.  Yet every bit of it I've suffered through has been unreadable.

Because these people never bothered learning how to write - so the characters they love so much have been rendered flat and dull, lacking even the vibrancy of a child's crayon drawing.

Please, please, stop.  I beg you.  Stop slaughtering the characters you love, stop making a mockery of those supernatural creatures you adore so much. Unless its for spoof purposes.

I think I'm going to write about a vampire elf pirate ninja werewolf just for silliness factor.  Heh.

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