First, a disclaimer: I am training somebody this week at work, was on vacation last week, and have a half dozen largish deadlines. I will still blog hop, but will maybe only hit the blogs I try to regularly hit about half as often this week. I apologize, but so rolls the ball. I just can't really do any of it from work, and normally I hit about half of what I hit while there.
So back to the blog...
So I got blindsided this week by a STORY IDEA (two actually, but one is a short, and manageable) and it (the long one now) won't leave me alone. I have no time for it. I have a Cozy to edit, then at least one of my others to finally get into shape, so I have slated it for my NaMoWriMo... but it WON'T STOP PESTERING ME! Pick Pick Pick Pick Pick....
Definitely a YA... and did I mention it is a murder mystery? Do they DO YA murder mysteries? It is NOT cozy... I'm liking the ideas though.
What is it about some ideas that they take hold like that, and will NOT be ignored. I've had one that made me drop a different book for it (that other book still sits, half finished). And I have some that just patiently wait until I am ready for them. Is it the characters involved? Is it the plot? Any of you have a clue?
So I am reading a book right now, which I am not yet naming, as I have just got onto a character who I like better than the first, but the first 40 pages were from a guy who is just hard to like. It isn't that he dislikable exactly, but I haven't found anything to grasp onto that I really sympathize yet... he's a cold fish—hard to know--who gets himself in a bind and sort of wanders willingly into trouble. Now I THINK it is because the author needs us to doubt him the whole book (is he the murderer?) and I REALLY like character number two already (in only about 5 pages) so the BOOK is promising. And I LIKE some ambiguity, but at the moment I am wondering how risky it might have been to start with the unlikeable guy. I mean the book seems to be doing okay, but is anyone getting lost?
But it brings up several questions.
How important is liking? Sympathy? Identifying? Does intrigue make up for it?
And when does likeable have to happen? Is there a point of no return? Do they have to be likeable by a certain point for the book to be redeemable? Can a convincing show of delusion make up for it? (Lolita comes to mind—a beautiful book with an ultimately unlikeable MC).
I guess I can think of examples of very dislikable characters that had a certain CHARM or WHIMSY. Death in The Book Thief wasn't LIKABLE exactly, but he was still sympathetic.
Am I insane? Are there people who like dark, unredeemed MCs? Anybody out there okay with Crime & Punishment (and WHY?--though I guess he sort of learns his lesson, but not enough for me.)
And NOW, to counterbalance all the negative energy... Evidence that I have FABULOUS friends!
My friend Rissa made this for me... Do you recognize me? The Tarty Llama in the wine glass (con tiara) with my man-minion llama and duck companions?
It is of note that there are NO PANTS in this picture.
AH! Love you, Rissa!