I am currently obsessed with character driven drama’s. I devoured Orange is the New Black and I’m currently watching the final season of The Killing. I appreciate these two shows particularly because they attempt to show a multitude of facets of the human psyche through behavior and relationships. I appreciate these shows because they continually show me that things aren’t so black and white. Humans are flawed, beautiful creatures and everyone has elements of good and bad.
I am exploring these same things in my current works. I am also having to explore these themes in my personal life as well. I had to make a decision last night that surprised me. Upon reflection, I realize that I agreed to something that I typically wouldn’t because I am a human who values compassion…and I couldn’t withhold that compasion from someone even though I wanted to. Even though they have been less than compassionate to me.
I don’t say this to toot my own moral horn, believe me, I am not always the “good guy”. However, I think it bears writing about because acknowledging my need to be compassionate is acknowledging part of who I am at my core. If I can see and acknowledge this about myself, I have an easier time teasing out the core of my characters.
I also have been extremely angry lately. I’m not going to be on the nightly news, don’t worry, but I am finally allowing myself to feel anger in the present moment without distancing myself from it. It can scare me, because the force of it in my body can be intense. I have been so good at hiding my emotions for most of my life, that feeling anger and letting it process naturally, still feels foreign. Even though I’ve been working on this for years. Understanding my anger also helps me understand characters and why they might explode in one situation and simmer silently in another.
I know that character flaws can be troublesome. However, I think it is the supposed flaws in the humans around me (myself included) that are leading me to be a better writer.