A to Z Challenge 2013

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Blog Chain - I'm Dead? Damn...

This blog chain round is brought to you by the devious Shannon, who evidently is wishing dire consequences on all her fellow writers.  Consider this evidence:


Imagine this: when you're gone, readers will remember your writing most for just one of these things: your characters, your plots, your settings, or your style. Which one (only one!) would you prefer over the rest? Why?




What did we blog chainers do to you, oh Shannon the wise, to deserve a premature death?  It must have been that fruitcake I sent last Christmas.  I swear they promised it would arrive fresh and tasty, so I don't know why you had such a debilitating reaction.


In any event, I will answer this interesting question regardless.  I suppose I should feel a bit morbid thinking about my own demise, but I'm fairly matter-of-fact about it.  I'm a firm believer in the idea that everything happens for a reason, including the end of all that is me.  But should such a travesty occur, what impressions would I want to leave behind?


Though I am as of yet unpublished, I expect (barring a random bus accident or falling off a bridge) that I will attain that goal sometime in the near future.  And with that, I'm hoping my words will reach more than ten people (not counting family, of course).  So if I have to pick just one thing I'd want those ten people to remember about me as a writer, I'd have to go with memorable characters.  Part of that is because I struggle to make my characters realistic, 3 dimensional beings, and being remembered for that would mean that I have succeeded in not only creating fully-fleshed out characters but also memorable ones.


I also am thinking about books that I have enjoyed thoroughly, and it really hasn't been the settings or plots or even style (though this is something I do like alot also) that I remember most.  It is the characters that an author creates - both good and bad - that stay in my mind long after I turn the final page.  Emulating these lingering tendrils of memorable personages is a worthy task and one I work at constantly.


Well, I've ranted long enough.  You needn't worry;  I'm sure the epitaph on my tombstone will be much shorter.  Something along the lines of, "He lived.  He died.  Play some AC/DC in his honor."


If you didn't get a chance to see the awesome Sandra's take on things, head on over here.  And Michelle Hickman's inspiring post on the subject will be up tomorrow.

13 comments:

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

Gee, if we're dead, then I don't have to leave a comment, do I? ;)

I enjoyed your take on the question, and I argee with you about characters being what you remember from a book.

nomadshan said...

Haha! I happen to love fruitcake. Maybe I was just feeling ornery. :) Creating memorable characters is certainly a great and challenging goal. I'm confident you're up to it.

lbdiamond said...

LOL, fatal fruit cake!

Great post, Eric! Love the epitaph, by the way.

Eric said...

Sandra - Yes, you always have to comment. Even if you have to come back as a spirit or zombie, you have to comment.

Nomadshan - I'll remember to send you one this year :) And no poison this time!

LB - Thank you. Here's hoping my spouse manages something like that on my tombstone. Wouldn't that be awesome?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I wouldn't buy a plot just yet, Eric!

And memorable characters would be my choices as well.

Jenna said...

Ack! Ebul, ebul question! But I'm with you--I'd say characters. I've read books with run-of-the-mill plots and settings, but have become my favorites because of the amazing characters. They can make or break a novel, and I'd rather be remembered for awesome characters and crappy plots than great plots but crappy characters. After all, plot is what happens to characters, and if you've got really interesting characters, they can take any plot and run with it. :)

Michelle H. said...

Ah, a man and his character. Nice one. I'll make sure it's written on your tombstone: "Remember me not for who I am, but for how my characters made you feel." Nice answer!

Eric said...

Alex - Nah, I don't have to purchase a plot thanks to the US Army. I get a white headstone free of charge (mostly) in a national cemetary. Woohoo!

Jenna - Hey you! So glad to see you stopping by. Yeah, I know, I haven't commented on yer blog in forever. I'm sorry. Headed over right now.

Michelle - Thank you. Nice line!

Christine Fonseca said...

Memorable characters! NICE!!! I have NO IDEA what I am going to write for this tomorrow - guess I bettr get working on it.

Jen said...

Fruitcake! Bahaha! I stopped by because I saw your name on the Great Blogging Experiment, with different time zones I know I'll have to stop by later!!! I'll be lurking :)

Margie Gelbwasser said...

AC/DC rocks! Great answer!

Cole Gibsen said...

lol. Out of respect for the dearly departed I will comment. Great answer and one that I totally agree with. If someone can't remember your characters how the heck are they going to remember your book?

Incidentally, the word fleshed-out grosses me out. Hee.

Shaun Hutchinson said...

I think you're on the right track. The best books are the ones with characters I'd love to spend time with over and over again.