What We Want to Know
How do you decide what to reveal, versus what not to reveal? (And no, for once I'm not talking about thong underwear versus old-school panties, or boxers versus briefs, or anything else underwear related.)
Bethany says she's been wondering about: "what we want to know about characters as opposed to what we want to know about real people. You only tell interesting things about characters, but people find every banal detail about celebrities interesting. And in our relationships, do you delve to find every little detail or do you leave something to mystery?"
I'm thinking there is probably something special about the celebrity factor. They have this image of perfection or pseudo-perfection, and we want to know that they are still like us in some ways, so that we don't feel so inferior. Right? We want to know that they secretely snarf down Cheetos and Mountain Dew, that they have cellulite, that their long, luxurious hair is really just $2000 extensions (and trust me, it always is!).
But anyway...what were we talking about? Underwe-oh, right, what we want to know about fictional characters. Or something like that.
In real-life relationships, don't we gravitate toward wanting to know everything about the people we love? I believe that's part of the thirst for intimacy, and it helps reassure us that we can be loved by someone even when they know the worst about us.
But fictional characters are not people with whom we long for intimacy. We need them to be interesting, conflicted, and probably representative of some greater truth about life, and so as writers, our job is to reveal the details about them that serve the story, right?
I know, I know, this topic isn't nearly as easy as talking about panties. But Bethany is kind of cerebral, and stuff, so what do you expect?