Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Do our Personal Beliefs Colour our Stories?
It’s scary because my sense of right and wrong has always been very strong right from childhood. The one and only time I lied to my mother as a child, I was awake the entire night with guilt. The next morning I sat outside her bedroom and the moment she emerged I confessed the truth and was engulfed in a tight hug.
The reason I use the word scary is because as I write Middle Grade fiction, I need to add gallons of naughtiness and spice in my stories. No child will like reading stories about good kids who drink their glass of milk, eat spinach, obey their elders, do their homework on time. Children will find these kids pretty boring.
I do create naughty characters, but I have noticed that even these characters of mine have their intrinsic good qualities. I became aware of this when toying with the idea of my protagonist Rahul, the MC of my Paranormal Middle Grade Trilogy who develops the ability to do Spirit Magic decides not to use magic to excel in his maths exams. This would be something I personally would have done.
If it came down to a choice, I would have preferred failing than using my new found magic abilities to pass an exam. I don’t know why I made that decision for my character. Not as a writer, but as a person. When I realized this, it made me a bit worried.
Should I have let my character Rahul decide whether he needed to use magic to pass an exam and make his parents proud. Rahul’s low marks always get him into trouble at home. This was a perfect opportunity for him to shine in his father’s eyes. Why did the writer in me not grab that opportunity?
I am wondering why did I make that decision for Rahul? Does this happen to you? Have you made decisions for your characters? Have you let your personal beliefs cloud your writer’s or story telling decisions? How do you balance between your own beliefs and the need of the writing hour? Any advice for me?