Life is messy. People are warped and messed up and we are living in a backwards, far from utopian world. How you choose to move through life, though, determines a lot. As Eve in Serendipity says: ” Life’s a mess, Sara. It’s… it’s chaos personified.” Life is a mess and when you mix in people’s opinions, emotions and beliefs with relationships, chaos can be a big part of it.
And as we go along in life, how we interact with people says a lot, at least I think so. How you deal with an argument determines your level of maturity, or lack thereof. We all have our childish moments. We all through some sort of tantrum, even as adults. We want our way. We want to win the argument. We aren’t willing to say the other person might be right. It’s human nature.
And we make mistakes.
Right now I am in an argument, if you can call it an argument through emails only, with Boris. What it’s about is unimportant. But it got me thinking about maturity levels and whether or not a person is willing to fight for a relationship, or just say “fine, I’m not winning so I’m going to walk away without trying to make this work.” There are two kinds of people; those that try to find a solution even by means of an argument, and those that just walk away.
Where do your characters in your novel fall into place? Do you even think about how your character will deal with conflict?
While I would rather not be in an argument, it is a life lesson, if not just for myself, but just to view a specific type of relationship. I’m actually using it in some ways to write about my character, Phaedra. She is in a relationship with a country singer who is going to be on the road. There is going to be conflict. Something is going to happen where Phae has the choice to walk away, or to fight for what she wants. Does she walk away from the singer? Or does she stand her ground and demand for her say; her rights? Do you make your character a pushover? Or do you give them strength? And how much is enough.
This is where living life gives you that experience to write. As children, we can’t evaluate situations and really understand or learn from them. But each interaction we have with people helps shape and mold our writing experience. You have to be a part of the world and pay attention.
Now, having had this experience. I’m rethinking how much of a pushover I want Phae. See, I’m usually a bit of a cream puff. I will argue with my family, but in public, I don’t cause conflict. I’ve never been in an actual argument with past boyfriends. Either they backed down, or I did. We never went at it. I’m not saying going at it is healthy, but if you are a passionate person, shouldn’t your responses be passionate? I think so. So, Phae is a passionate person about her life. She’s a photographer that sees things that others don’t. She lives life to the fullest. So, she’s not going to just back down in life. That doesn’t mean she’s going to go out swinging, but she might land a well placed kick here or there.
So, do your characters have conflict? How do they deal? And would you change them if you could?
Just something to think about this Sunday. Hey, it’s Sunday, you might have some time to work on your WIP and rethink your characters.
- How to Handle Difficult People (huffingtonpost.com)
- Dealing with arguments (thesite.org)