A fellow writer told me the other day that she writes fiction in order to make sense of the “un-understandables.”
I wanted to hug her. Actually, I think I did. Because it’s the way it is for me, too. Writing The Angry Woman Suite was in many ways an attempt to understand a handful of perplexing people who were, or still are, a part of my internal landscape—also people I admire, too, but mostly I write to understand those who get on my last nerve (so I can box them up . . . *smile*. . . is this a little like getting the last word?).
My list of last nerve characters:
Know-it-all’s—doesn’t the world have enough know-it-all’s yet? Is it really necessary to keep churning them out?
Bad manners–not just interrupting or slamming doors, but also sneering at another’s lifestyle, mindset, skin color, political leaning, and/or sexual orientation, or anything else you don’t agree with (unless someone or something is being killed or abused) = seriously bad manners.
Bores—we all know who they are. The problem is they don’t.
Mean bores—there’s never a good reason for sheer meanness. But, sigh, there’s never been a really good enough reason for bores, either. They’re like roaches: everywhere and unnecessary.
Cranks and whiners—a total drain on everybody. We all have challenges. Get over your big bad selves. Feed the poor.
Mean cranks and whiners—ditto.
But then there are those people who just can’t be pinned down. They’re enticing, private, mysterious, ephemeral. They’re generally the heroes. They’re kind, yet strong. I completely love manufacturing a good hero. The kind who can tell the mean, cranky, whiny know-it-all– the one who slept with a co-worker’s husband–where she can put it, yet in a direct, (but still) totally non-snotty way = winning.