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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.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Icicle (#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 I, I received 52 suggestions. Random.org selected number 4: icicle.

PS--My Mondays and Wednesdays have me running around without good internet access all day until 9pm EST (US). I'll get back to you, but it might be late tonight.


Icicle

I'm not a huge fan of actions movies, so I have to give a little credit for this post to my awesome husband. This morning I said, "My I word is icicle. What on earth am I going to write about?" To which he replied, "How about stabbing someone with an icicle, like in Die Hard 2?" (Link goes to YouTube. Watch at your own risk.)

Okay, while I do have my roots in horror movies, I don't really want to talk about stabbing people with icicles. But let's talk about the context of the situation in which the icicle became necessary.

Death is imminent. A man hovers over the MC, his knife inching closer and closer to our beloved hero's throat, held off only by our hero's strength. MC notices icicles hanging nearby. And ingenuity and creativity do the rest, thus saving the day and killing the bad guy.

Like how I skimmed over the details? You could be reading this on your lunch break. I don't want to make you sick!

Connect this to Friday's post (just a little). We've got our MC in imminent danger, the game-changing situation, death at the doorstep and all that tension-building jazzy goodness. Our poor hero has been stripped of everything, and the only reason we know he won't die is because it's an action flick from 1990, and the hero can't die (or how else could they have made Die Hard 3?). But you still worry. Maybe all that talk about the next installment was fluff. Maybe they said those things to make you think the hero wouldn't die. But... but...

Tension.

Luckily, in terms of creating that tension, we're not writing 1990s screenplays (well, I'm not, anyway). We aren't tied to keeping our characters alive, and our readers know that. The MC's hand could slip, and that knife could... (well, I still don't want to make you sick) ...hurt him/her.

My point? (no pun intended) Make your characters sweat. Put them in impossible situations. Maybe they won't get out. Is that such a bad thing? No always.

What's the worst situation you've put your characters into? Have you given them the ability/abilities to get themselves out? Or do you just like to see them squirm?

Also, taking suggestions today for the letter O. Have some? Leave them below. Thanks!

8 comments:

Jules said...

I love the Die-Hard Movies, my favorite reruns :) For me I like to make things squirm :D
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Her highness, Samantha Vérant said...

Stabbing someone with an icicle? Hmmm. I keep thinking of that scene in Basic Instinct with the ice pick...

Another A to Zer, new follower! Hello!

Theresa Milstein said...

You know the term, jumped the shark?

That happened with Grey's Anatomy when Sandra Oh slipped on ice and an icicle punctured her stomach. Haven't watched it since.

Remember the short story post I did on your blog? Please visit my blog for an update on the vampire short story.

Marjorie said...

I never saw Die Hard 2. *hears a collective gasp from men all over the world*

LTM said...

lol! So you went from icicles to heat and sticky situations... I do put my MCs in jams, but I either give them a way out or the wherewithal to survive. It's very necessary to a great story. Thanks, girl~ :o)

Carol Riggs said...

Ha, thanks for protecting our lunches from icicle imagery. ;o) Yep, tension is good. Stretch it out but not toooo far. Still, squirming characters are a good thing!

"O" words? How about omnivorous, omniscient, open/opening, omigosh, oodles, ostrich, odorous? :)

Medeia Sharif said...

I don't remember that scene. I'd like to watch the Die Hard movies again.

I make my characters squirm and then have them get out of their predicaments.

salarsenッ said...

Hey there. Just popping over from the A-Z! Great to meet you. Hmm...I've put my characters in a few 'sweaty' positions. lol I've got one being chased in the woods by shadows (or she thinks) and eventually is nabbed by a bad guy (or she thinks).

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