Thursday, May 3, 2012

Thursday's Got a Feeling (and Motive)

I wanna talk a little about a song they did on Glee. Whether you love Glee or hate it, just wait. I have a point.

The song in question is actually Cell Block Tango from Chicago. I’ve never seen Chicago, but personally I would love to read about these girls. Maybe I’ll see it one day (Have any of you guys seen it? Was it good? Were these girls interesting?).

Anyways, these girls think what they did was the right thing wholeheartedly. I mean listen to song. The lyrics on the video, but I also copied the lyrics that inspired this post.

“They had it comin', they had it comin'
They had it comin' all along
'Cause if they used us and they abused us
How could they tell us that we were wrong?

He had it coming, he had it coming
He only had himself to blame
If you'd have been there, if you'd have seen it
I betcha you would have done the same

There is no apology. This isn’t a song about how sorry these girls are. No, they are explaining why they did it. As the girls said, “it was a murder but not a crime.” In their minds, what they did is perfectly reasonable, but don’t we think the same thing about our decisions?

Normally, people don’t wake up and think “I’m going to kill someone.” There’s a reason.

We always think we are on the right side. In our minds, our actions are perfectly reasonable. I mean do you think twice about the things you do?

Do you think the French during the revolution thought “maybe this head chopping thing isn’t the best solution?”
The French government thought it was a way to keep down the complaints.

Do you think the Americans during WWII thought “maybe bombing Japan isn’t the best solution?”
If you ask anyone from this time, they’ll more likely say the Japanese deserved it. I mean after Pearl Harbor, everyone wanted to enlist in the war to get revenge. The American government saw it as a quick way to prevent millions of people to die, and hey if Russia gets scared and backs off, all the better.

I’m not saying I agree with anything above. Actually I completely disagree with the decisions above, but the people involved thought that they were making the right choice. I’m not saying some people didn’t disagree, but people still allowed it to happen.

In our stories, we give all of our characters motive and feel something.

One of my biggest pet peeves in book is when a character does something and the motive doesn’t work. Think about horror movies. Don’t you just wanna slap the girl who runs upstairs to get away from the bad guy even though she is RIGHT BY THE DOOR.

They should also feel something. The girls in Cell Block Tango felt angry to the point of murder. I feel like a lot of the time characters just mull over what to do or not to do. Sure some things deserve thought (like whether to eat chocolate or cotton candy ice cream), but don't harp on and on. Decide and act. Harping on and on is a waste of word count. No one likes listening to someone complain for hours on what to do. We like action. Same in reading. Act.

Both of these things make me annoyed with a character, and I probably won’t read any more.

I’m not completely sure I made any sense up there because I’m typing this quickly because really need to write and do my homework. I guess what I want to point out is that motive and feelings say a lot about your character. Don’t make your character into one of those people where you wonder how long it’ll take before you snap and smack them. Think through their motive and feelings.

Everyone has a motive and they all feel something. That's what you should write about.

The girls from Cell Block Tango had clear motive and feelings, and personally I really would like to know more about them. Through motive and feelings, you really have something going.

What are your thoughts? How important is motive and feelings to you?

Also HELLO to our new members! Tori is our new Monday, and Caroline is our new Wednesday. I'm really excited to see what they post.