Getting away from tricky subjects, yikes, I was just listening to an interview with PJ Harvey, a real fave of mine, and she was talking about how people always mistook her lyrics for her real feelings, when she actually wrote in character at times, or borrowed from the experiences of friends or just explored things.
She lamented that writers seemed to get away with writing someone else's thoughts, but everybody always thinks whatever she writes is what she feels.
Oy, do I have news for her... :D
Like I know I'm going to get in trouble for some non PC stuff in my M7 fic, but, hell, it's set in the 1860s-1870s. And while my politics lie firmly with Daniel, I am capable of climbing into Jack's head and speaking for him, even though I personally object to some of what he says. Problem is, some readers fail to see I'm writing in character, and they really don't like it when I filter events through a character's perception. I remember one friend kept pulling me up for what she perceived to be a lack of continuity in the character's story when I thought it was quite obvious said character had lied through his teeth with a knife pressed to his throat. Oh well.
It's always a quandry, how much to leave grey, so the reader can fill in the blanks themselves (usually an enjoyable experience, imho), you know, like building a stage set and letting the imagination fill in the outlines. One of my favourite pieces of my own writing, and pride allows me a few, is a piece I wrote back in '82 (yikes) of an utterly devestated man, his life had just fallen to ruins about him, and all you saw was him, or rather just his hand, as he was in shadow, his cigarette and the cheap cracked glass ash tray in front of him, which I described in detail, meaning that he'd sunk low enough to be a dive that'd have such a tatty ash tray on the table. Please note this was written well before smoking was outlawed - grin.
I feel that if you leave things fluid you can let the story bend and flow more easily, I always find. Personally, if a reader needs every little detail spelt out in big plain letters they're probably better off reading something else because I do love to see where the story takes me, nudging it every so often, but always letting it have its head. The best stories write themselves and I let them. And if I have nothing more to do with the story than mere secretarial duties, then I surely cannot be held accountable for the thoughts and deeds of my characters, independent thinkers that they are.
Speaking of borrowing from friends, and really, if you're going to hang with writers its a caveat that they're going to use things you've said, it always amuses me that some of the more manic tics I've given FreakBoy!Daniel are all actually based on those of a few people near, dear and even departed, yet those unfamiliar with, um, quirky people, often write to me about how off the wall I'm being. And this is just me borrowing a few little habits. Imagine if they met these highly spiced folks in the flesh? Actually, I'm imagining Mrs Whitebread from the suburbs meeting the gang from Moulin Rouge (it's a fairly reasonable facsimilie for my folks) and, oh, what fun. Almost worth a story in itself. Alice Whitebread through the looking glass. Heh heh heh.
Last night: Munch, Munch and more Munch. Started out watching last week's Homicide on tape, and oooh, what an episode. Certainly a keeper, which is a good thing because I'd taped stuff after it in my muddlement, confusing the keeper tape wih the watch and rewind tape. It was a crossover with Law & Order, the first episode I've not seen, but I caught up. All politics but lots of Munch spouting off so I was happy. I felt like I could do with ore Munch and there was SVU, though it was mostly Meloni (I keep remembering the time I cracked up a friend when I said after watching a few Oz cvids - it doesn't screen out here - I was watching SVU funny for weeks - grin), and like I'm going to complain about that. Then, heavens, after Roswell, it was the episode of the X Files set in Baltimore with the origin of the Lone Gunmen and, yep, you guessed it, more Munch. I've lost count of how many shows Det. Munch has shown up in now, but it's a hugely satisfying running gag.
Inbetween the Munchkin there was Farscape. The one where Aeryn runs into her Mum. In fact, the moment Aeryn stands up to her mother, I've never seen her look more beautiful. I envy her her strength. There was Crais torturing - hey, no fair, I love Lani, even though I doubt he'll ever forgive me for the RSL comment. He was admiting how very Village People he looked from the photos of the last con and I cracked there was always the RSL circuit. I suspect one doesn't even joke about such things in acting circles. Oh well. They have their own language, like thieves butchers. There was also poor Rygel ventilating and lots of Aeryn/John, at bloody last and oooh, here's chemistry folks. Makes some other tv shows just cringeworthy when they try to throw characters together. John and Aeryn, they work. They've worked from the first and it's been a long road - ooops, do ya think Farscape got cancelled cause they shagged? Has the old Moonlightning curse struck again?