Friday, May 15, 2009

Frogs Abounding

Apparently there are between 3k and 5k different species of frogs. I've seen frogs the size of half my finger's length, and I've seen frogs the size of a large dinner charger. Frogs can be all sorts of colors, singular and plural even. Some have poison skin, and some are cannibals. I find frogs endlessly fascinating, and I find people endlessly fascinating also.

There are so many types of people. They have their own distinct reactions to events, so are often unpredictable, and yet humanity as a group seems quite predictable. Given something horrible, humanity will venerate it, while given something precious, humanity will desecrate it. Writing about humanity, staying true to humanity's spirit, is easy. Writing about the individual is hard.

And yet, writing the individual is easy, because the writer is never wrong. Individuals are so different and there are so many permutations possible in their behavior, that anything is possible. The trick is writing a believable individual. As I develop my individual I need to make their actions (horrible or venerable) believable.

I'd love to close this post with some strong, yet pithy conclusion, but the only mental image I have is of a man carrying a severed head with him on a flight from Boston, MA to Bristol, UK... So I'll leave a question instead: How do you make your characters believable?


Sarah said...

I realize there's a question to the post but I was so distracted by the first half of the last paragraph...

Since it would also have to travel through the handy conveyor devices - does that make it a radioactive severed head? And how does one go about getting a severed head through customs? It seems about as successful a proposition as stowing some leftover spare ribs with extra drippy sauce in the carry-on - fairly obvious that something is awry, especially when the suspicious bbq sauce (?) leads a trail to your seat.

In fact, the comment was so succinct that it struck me as someone must have tried to actually DO it - so I did what any curious person would do: I Googled it.

54,200 results for "man severed head airplane luggage".

It truly boggles the mind.

haricot vert said...

I think that you'd have to at least double bag the head before packing it. Probably would want to put some dessicant in with it as well...

54,200 results?? Wow. ...Just, wow.