via Daily Prompt: Panic
I missed a post last week due to all the bloody work that was due last week and is due this week. Am procrastinating right now.
I recently saw Mars Attacks! a Tim Burton/Jack Nicholson movie that’s kind of, well, really cheesy. If you’re going to make jack Nicholson president, YOU NEED TO MAKE THE MOVIE ABOUT JACK NICHOLSON BEING PRESIDENT. It was illogical to create this separate alien scenario. I would prefer a Jack presidency over a Trump presidency cause you gotta love Jack but you gotta hate Trump.
Google, how old is Jack Nicholson? 79. sigh. Probably won’t become president or make a movie about being president.
This is totally answering the prompt cause when politics get so crazy that a Jack Nicholson presidency becomes plausible YOU NEED TO PANIC!
Now I need to write, which is what caused me to PANIC enough to post this blog.
Part 1, explanation of the Bella Syndrome, here
When I say that authors cannot create multiple living characters in one story, I am not insulting authors. They, or I should say we, gave life to the lovable, dynamic, living characters that are the true heroes. We cannot write from the POV of these characters because they are alive. We will not write from these characters because it would damage them. Writing from them would cast them as a body for us to see in, not as a person with her/his own thoughts and will.
Despite not having written a novel yet, I can speak for this. I created a character I fell in love with. He is the part of me that I aspire to be: brave, action -driven, clever and sometimes, well, all the time, reckless.
The heroine is the opposite. She is incredibly hard to get to know. During her interview I came close to begging from her. “Just tell me anything about yourself.” and she finally started a story that helped me understand the relationship between her and the hero. Character interview tip: Areas in which your character offers more tangents is an area you may want to explore first, then gradually nudge them into talking about their story.
And I understood the relationship between me and them. I filled my hero with everything I want to be and my heroine with everything I fear to be.
More on character interviews in Stephen King’s On Writing and James n. Frey’s How To Write A Damn Good Novel
I recently read W. Goldman’s The Princess Bride and started thinking about Bella’s Syndrome. While this Syndrome is very annoying, I also read J. Green’s Looking for Alaska after which broadened my thinking into “Why is the most interesting character almost never the narrator?”
Bella’s Syndrome describes characters who have no hobbies, no skills, nothing interesting except their boyfriend, who has amazing qualities and in reality would not stay with the Bella. It is named after Bella Swan from Twilight, whose outstanding Bellaness raised awareness of this syndrome.
The Princess Bride’s protagonist is Buttercup, a farmer’s daughter who has a mild interest in her horse, named Horse by her and of course, an immeasurable amount of love for Westley.
Westley, is The Perfect Man, funny, clever, swashbuckling, p-e-r-f-e-c-t. Why the hell does he love Buttercup?
In reality, who we love is determined by our brain chemistry, or if you’re more religious, our Significant Other was once a part of us, separated by a vengeful Zeus. The two extremes, usually one quiet the other outgoing, are attracted to each other while those in the middle tend to attract others like themselves.
But this alone cannot account for the differences in literary couples, cannot account for the Bella Syndrome. I say that the rest of the fault lies with authors, who no matter their talents, cannot create multiple living characters.