Welcome to my self-indulgent location for the stories (good and bad) that I can't prevent myself from writing. All comments and criticisms welcome. I post on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Doofus (#atozchallenge)

Welcome to today's post on the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. My challenge, as I have chosen to accept it, is thus: I have asked on my Facebook and Twitter accounts for people to contribute random words beginning with today's letter. From Random.org, I have selected one of these words, and will below challenge myself to connect said word to writing.

For the letter D, I received 61 suggestions. Random.org selected number 44: doofus.


Okay, yeah. This is what happens when I let my friends pick my words for me. There were several words that would have been difficult but interesting (e.g., dogfish, Djibouti, damask, diplodocus, duodenum, etc.), but I get the word that means "stupid person".

Ah, Random.org, how you taunt me!

Then again, when I think about it more, perhaps this is a good word. In fact, perhaps it's even a great word. How many of us have characters that are too clever, while the dim-witted one is around for comic relief alone? Are our main characters the ones who always figure out the secret, put the pieces of the puzzle together?

Well, one reason, I suppose, would be that we could end up with our characters sitting around, popping Bubble Yum**, and staring at the wall. That wouldn't be much fun to read, would it?

**Bubble Yum was an unselected suggestion for B.

But then there are a few great novels and short stories in which the main character isn't known or loved for his/her cleverness. The Sound and the Fury comes to mind. Why aren't there more, though? Is it because it's easier to write about what we know, and being clever writers ourselves, we don't think through that lens? Or because we need to progress our stories, and so our characters take the clues we hand them and link them together?

I don't exactly have any answers for you. It's really just something to think about.

As for my writing, I can't say I have a character I would consider a doofus, per se. I've got some pretty dense characters, but they're not stupid. Of course, now that I'm writing this, I feel the need to challenge myself and see what I can do with a doofus character in an MC role.

Do you have characters that fall into the "doofus" category? What's their purpose in your narrative?

Also, today I'm taking suggestions for the letter H. Have any? Leave some below. Thanks!


On an COMPLETELY UNRELATED note, check out this trailer for India Drummond's new book Ordinary Angels, released yesterday. CONGRATULATIONS, India!!

Also, check out her blog here. India's also a part of the A-to-Z Challenge.


KO: The Insect Collector said...

hmmm... I don't have any total-doofus characters. My MC is supposed to be super clever, etc-- but she's also 15, so she dorks out from time to time. Not as much as I did back then, though.

Jan Morrison said...

Doofus is definitely a word from my growing up era! I like it - it is more than a goof, less than an idiot. You can be a doofus and still be smart - just not about whatever it is someone is watching you do! Great word.
H - help, happiness, halcyon
Jan Morrison

Talli Roland said...

I have a soft spot for doofus characters, for sure. There's something so lovable about them!

Angela Felsted said...

But Doofus is so creative. I've yet to see anyone else choose doofus.

Ellie said...

I can't say I've written any doofus characters. Might be fun to a try, though!

Ellie Garratt

Patricia Lynne said...

Hm,I don't think I have a doofus character. I have characters that do doofus things. Does that count?

NiaRaie said...

Although there are doofus people in this world, I think it's hard to write characters like that without it coming off as stereotypical. Even if your character is a replica of a person in your life, readers probably won't believe anyone can be that much of a doof :)

LTM said...

I have near-doofuses. Sometimes I'm the doofus, but no just out and out doofuses, per se...

OK, this was very funny. Good stuff, Rosie~ :D

Sarah Allen said...

Comedic relief, right there. Good luck with the writing and characters, even if they are doofuses :)

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

India Drummond said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sheila said...

I have never written about a Doofus, but I sure have known a lot of people that act like a Doofus! BTW, I love how you describe yourself in your profile. :)

Sheila Staley : Reviewer & Writer
Book reviews and Author Interviews at my blog at http://whynotbecauseisaidso.blogspot.com/

Sheila said...

I have never written about a Doofus, but I sure have known a lot of people that act like a Doofus! BTW, I love how you describe yourself in your profile. :)

Sheila Staley : Reviewer & Writer
Book reviews and Author Interviews at my blog at http://whynotbecauseisaidso.blogspot.com/

Margo Kelly said...

Very interesting! Great post.

Jules said...

LOL, Doofus! I think this is best title I've read, just the word makes me laugh. I'm a member of the IDU (International Doofuses Unite) :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Lynda R Young said...

Hahahahaha! I used to call my brother a doofus all the time ;)

SweetMarie83 said...

What a great idea, asking your friends for suggestions. Maybe that's what I should do because I feel like a doofus myself and seem to be coming up blank on a lot of the letters. I don't have any characters that could be considered a doofus, but now I'm thinking I should add one in...those characters are usually so lovable and funny and can add great comedic relief. Hmmm.....

Siv Maria said...

Love it, your doofus must be my Dafts cousin :) Sticking around for awhile to see how else we might be related.
BTW, Hart gave me your address so blame her for me stalking you.

Sarah Mäkelä said...

I haven't really written any doofus characters. Also, it's awesome how you're connecting the words people give you to writing!

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