29 November 2006


This is a follow-up to a previous post I made.

Anonymous asked: Interesting questions. Why do you ask them?

Recent events around the house, namely a family death, brought this back to my attention.

Now, death is a strange thing, and though it's true that everyone grieves differently, there are what one would consider "normal" acts of grief that almost everyone goes through. Crying a lot, getting choked up, feeling depressed, angry, etc. are some examples.

Now, I myself don't go through most of these, at least publicly. Privately may or may not be a different matter, depending on the circumstances. But most of my emotions remain on an even keel in these times. I feel sad, but most of my attention is geared toward supporting those left behind. I could probably get into why this is how I am, but that's a longer post than I care to get into right now.

So, back to my original post, I asked (in a nutshell) whether someone who doesn't follow the same emotional makeup as the majority could still write characters who do follow those same emotional acts.

And I imagine a good writer could do so. Although Anonymous' example is a special circumstance (space-based science fiction writers make a lot of stuff up on the fly, I suspect...even if they've never been to space), it does hold that a writer could realize how "normal" people react to different events, if they've been exposed to those behaviors, or have learned about them in some way. And as long as they're able to write it in a believable manner, it should come off okay.

So, there's hope yet...

Current Status:
FID editing: 75% complete


  1. i'm so sorry for your loss...

    actually, i think that the 'normal' households, (i.e. ones that look like ozzie and harriet and leave it to beaver), while pretty to look at on the outside, are actually in the minority in our society, and probably in most societies...dysfunction reigns for the most part, really. and some of the 'normal' looking families are really screwed up when viewed from within their confines..and when you think about it, what is a normal reaction to a tragedy, anyway?

    some people who are falling apart on the outside are really demonstrating that they're actually dealing with a tragic situation - it's supposed to cause a measure of grief, after all, for most people...and sometimes people who look like they're handling things just fine, break down in the end, because they're really not dealing with things inside, they're just stuffing things down deep...so in the end, i don't think it's so important to write how a 'normal' person would deal with a tragedy, even if your character is somewhat 'normal'...what's important is your gut feeling about how your character would react in that situation...and if their reactions are not 'normal', then maybe their quirks make them that much more interesting, and maybe the vast majority of us would identify with the 'abnormality' better, anyway...
    sorry for rambling on, just my thoughts on the matter.

  2. Wow. I have seen so many different kinds of grieving that I wouldn't even know what "normal" was. I have seen Muslim women beat themselves, I have seen Sicilian women go half insane following the coffin and wear black for the rest of their lives. I've seen people die within days of each other, or others refuse to speak for years. An old boyfriend of mine went into the bottle when his son died.

  3. so...BEAST, huh? that was my favorite comment on matt's blog...how have you been? been writing...?

  4. Attempting to...almost finished with the latest round of edits.

    Maybe it'll be finished by Christmas.


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