Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Fighting myself...

Seems I still have this tendency to try and play it safe with my characters. I want to mitigate what they do by giving explanations and justifications as they commit actions that are illegal or wrong...and that's not how they always want to work. It's funny, but Curt in How To Rape A Straight Guy was nothing but self-justification but not in a way that excused his destructive decisions...except in his own mind. Which worked for his limited abilities.

I wrote a bit on Underground Guy and saw I was slipping into that safe pattern with Devlin. My first draft of the story had nothing about why he hates cops or that he even suspects Reg is a cop, and it shot ahead. Only the sheer coincidence of Dev attacking a man who's undercover trying to stop a serial killer who's attacking men was just way too bizarre, so having Dev make Reg as a cop does work better at setting up the story. But then I was explaining why he hates cops and how he's been harassed by cops for being gay...and that sort of justification was just cowardly.

Removing the animalistic nature of Dev's actions was hurting both him as a character and the flow of the piece. So I dumped it, and now he's just out to mess with a cop who he thinks is out to mess with someone else. And as the story goes along, he sees he hurt a man who was trying to protect others, and who was wounded in Afghanistan, and who's cut into Dev's protective shell in surprising ways. And the story returns to Dev realizing he's been an animal and deciding to be a human being, instead. The details can come out later in the story.

It's a bit like what happens with Curt, albeit too late for him to make a difference in his life. Alec never did really get it in Porno Manifesto, but that was okay. Antony was too psychotic to understand in Rape in Holding Cell 6, except as it affected Jake. And Eric in Bobby Carapisi goes the full arc, from self-involved jerk who accidentally destroys a man to a human being who takes responsibility for himself and his future, not forgetting his past but trying to learn from his mistakes.

With Daniel in The Lyons' Den, it'a about accepting he is worthy of love, success and happiness. As for Jake, it's about coming to terms with his past and freeing himself from it.

And with Brendan in Place of Safety, it will be about accepting his destiny, to his horror.

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