Tuesday, April 5, 2011
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.