A friend sent me this mug, and though I laughed at the sentiment, it doesn’t apply to me. I don’t put people who annoy me in my books — I’m more apt to walk away from them, and if I can’t, then I try to ignore them, and if I can’t do that, then I carp about them. (If someone annoys me online, I simply unfriend the person.)
Besides, it’s only when I am near such people that I find them annoying. When I am by myself, they disappear. To put annoying folk in a book would give them a bigger place in my life than they deserve. I’d also have to think about those people, and that is no fun at all!
And then there’s the whole thinking-makes-it-real philosophy. Supposedly, you can make things come true if you visualize them in the smallest detail. If you kill someone in a book, you’re definitely visualizing the act and all the details, so does that mean it could happen? If not, does it mean that the whole visualization technique of making your dreams come true is flawed? (It seems so. It’s never worked for me, anyway.)
The one time I did create a fictional death for someone I knew (I mean someone I know; she isn’t past tense yet!) I had a hard time convincing myself to write the story. Even though it was her idea, I worried that my thinking about the murder would make it happen for real. When I finally did decide to go ahead with the project, I made my internal conflict about killing her part of the story. And it turned out to be a fun book. (That novel, Madame ZeeZee’s Nightmare is now available for Christmas gift shopping!)
Despite all that, poor “Grace” was never one of those who annoyed me, and by making the book more about me than her, I managed to slide past the necessary visualizations. And oddly, one or two people who did annoy me no longer did after I put them in the book. I guess by writing about them and their quirks, they became understandable.
That gives me another reason not to put people who annoy me in a book. Do I really want to understand such folk? I mean, they are annoying!
Still, now that I have the mug before me, I’d suggest not annoying me. You never know — it might give me ideas.
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Unfinished, Madame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.