Friday, April 15, 2011

The Inner Sadist

I sometimes wonder at the twisted workings of my subconscious. Those of you who have followed my blog for a while will know I work for a charity running a couple of programs that provide direct support to the homeless of Melbourne. Seems like I could be quite a nice guy.

But as an author it seems I have another persona entirely. Putting it simply I am a bloodthirsty sadist.
At least when it comes to things that happen to my characters. Those of you who have read my book Veiled in Shadows will know that during its course some really nasty things happen to some really nice people. To be sure things don't come out too badly for some of my characters but the things that happen to some of them along the way... well you just wouldn't want them happening to your worst enemy. Shootings, beatings, loss of loved ones, grief, fear, breakdown and death are the sorts of things my poor characters have to contend with.

Now sometimes it seems like I am channelling their stories and they don't come from me at all. But maybe that is just a cop out so I can avoid looking at just what a sick twisted cookie I am?

I mean as a perfect example of how nasty I can be look at what is happening to poor Valentina in the extracts I have posted from my WIP. From the bits you have read you could have gathered: Valentina has been persecuted for falling in love with a man from another country; She has survived four years on the front-line of the worst war in history; she has been wounded and scarred physically and emotionally; she has lost her dearest friends; and she has come within an ace of suicide. To be sure there was a lifeline in the form of love from Natasha an innocent little girl.

But was Al content with leaving it there?

No he was not as since then Valentina has suffered a concussion through the actions of a woman she thought was a friend. Then she had an old dear friend come back into her life, but he is a secret police officer and arrests her.

Poor Valentina what did she ever do to deserve all this?

Are you questioning the sanity of Al yet?

Well if it isn't bad enough to show my nasty streak to my characters what about my treatment of you my poor readers?

I lure you here with nice piccies

of beautiful birdsof spectacular sceneryof gentle wild lifeand cascading waterfalls
But it is all a ploy, I tell you stories that leave a brave resourceful young woman fearing for her life and for the life of her loved one. And I make you wait a week to find out what comes next.

So if you find yourself in blog-land tonight be careful there could be lurking authors!

Cue wicked laughter.


Old Kitty said...

Nasty would be plying the reader with chocolate, champers, doughnuts and aussie wine first!! :-)

Great pics btw!! Take care

Charmaine Clancy said...

I have a secret persona too, I pretend to come for the pretty pics, but really look for the bloodshed :)
Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

Al said...

Hi Jennifer,
That would be diabolical!

Hi Charmaine,
Perfect answer! You'll always be welcome here :-)

Hart Johnson said...

*giggles* I think there are a lot of us... I do mean rotten things to my characters, too... it's not that I'm mean and rotten. In fact I think writing awful things keeps me from having to stir up real life mischief... a catharsis of sorts. (gorgeous pics!)

N. R. Williams said...

Love the pictures. It sounds like you are a gifted writer in the body of a nice guy by day and a twisted dreamer by night.
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

Ellie said...

Well I'm all for having an inner sadist, just as long as it remains on the page. I recently shocked myself by writing a serial killer story and then saw it published. I've been too frightened to let any of my family read it!

Ann said...

I find myself fascinated by the Ying and Yang of Al's world.

Jenny Maloney said...

I think that you deserve a little sadism after a saintly real-life. We can't all be good all the time. ;)

It isn't healthy.

Lynda R Young said...

hehe I think all authors have to have a certain amount of a mean streak in them. Gorgeous piccies though :)

VR Barkowski said...

All I can say is, better on the page than in real life. :)

I do awful things to my characters as well. In fact my agent suggested I tone down the torture scene in my first novel.

Breathtaking photographs. Wow.

Lisa said...

You really do seem to have an inner sadistic bent! No wonder Deb treats you so well; she's afraid of unleashing the beast!

Jaydee Morgan said...

I like the double-persona. It makes things so much more interesting :)

Deniz Bevan said...

Actually, I'm impressed because I'm exactly the opposite - I find it hard to drag my characters through torturous scenes. I just want to write sweet stuff, but of course there'd be no story then [g]

The Words Crafter said...

Oh, this was brilliant! just gave away our most brutally guarded secret-that we're all pretty twisted inside and that we write to temporarily exorcise our demons. Hmmmm, what to do to you for exposing us this way....well. I know. I'll let your imagination run away with you! Muahahahahaha!!!!

Love the piccies. They always work :)

Al said...

Hi Hart,
It seems to be a common thread. If we acted out our imaginings there would be mayhem!
Thank you!

Hi Nancy,
Thank you! Hah the act is working you think I am a nice guy…

Hi Ellie,
I agree the on the page seems to be the place.
I know what you mean about wondering what friends and family might think.

Hi Ann,
What an interesting way to see it. A balance…

Hi Jenny,
I agree being a saint is very hard work. Which is why I am not one…
Definitely boring as well as unhealthy too.

Hi Lynda,
I guess you are right conflict needs devious imagination ;-)
Thank you.

Hi VR,
I agree blood is sooo hard to clean up. ;-)
It is scary what is lurking in our minds isn’t it?
Thank you!

Hi Lisa,
Hmmm, If either of us does the tiptoeing around here it is probably me ;-)

Hi Jaydee,
It certainly does. Certainly makes for an interesting read.

Hi Deniz,
I like writing sweet stuff too. It makes a great juxtaposition for when I get nasty. Just kidding, although it does have an element of truth.

Hi Words,
The secrets out! Oh no, my mind has permission to carry me away. Now I am in real trouble. Or at least my characters are ;-)
Thank you!

RosieC said...

Honestly, Al, if we didn't torture our characters, who would we be? We're all sadists on some level or another. What would make us actually crazy is if we started living out the sadism beyond the page. Considering your job, I'm guessing that's not in your (immediate) future :)

East for Green Eyes