Who Is Right

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I have been writing this new novel, Fighting Forty, but 97 pages into it, one of my sisters printed out the story so far. Last night that sister, as well as another of my sister’s and I were having a reading. We came to this passage; At home the house was rockin’. Mantha was listening to the same Christina Aguilera song she had been blasting for the past three days. It was from that God awful movie, Burlesque, and having memorized all of the words, she was dramatically belting along as she sang about first love. A subject I had noticed she was kind of obsessed with.

One of my sisters accused me of being so strongly opinionated and of never editing myself. I laughed and said I was not the character, and that it wasn’t my opinion, but that of the character herself. I was then told I can’t take criticism.

In fairness I have never even seen Burlesque. For all I know it’s a great movie. I know my 15 year old certainly loved this one song which is what inspired this scene. So I as you, who is right? Are characters with strong opinions offensive? Does the fact that I just find it funny mean I can’t take criticism? Did you see Burlesque and like it? And if you did, would it bother you if a character in a book said it stunk? I am genuinely curious. It certainly not my intention to offend my readers. I’m just trying to create strong characters.

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About bridgetstraub

Author, Artist & Mom. First novel "Searching for My Wand" was published in December 2011
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3 Responses to Who Is Right

  1. paulaacton says:

    Have to say I loved the film I guess it depends on the character, if she is strongly opinionated on everything and constantly voices those opinions it becomes clear it is her opinion and personality rather than you as an author having a dig at the film if it is out of character though it becomes more grey, I would also suggest that without watching the film the context of her dislike is harder for you to get across as actually most of the songs in the film are not really about love

  2. Arlee Bird says:

    Never saw the movie, but everyone has their own opinions including fictional characters. We can dislike or like a character, but the character should remain consistent in their opinions unless inconsistency is part of their character. Opinions should come across through what the character says or thinks or how they act. In the case of your example the opinion sounds like it’s coming through your narrative so it does kind of sound like author opinion if the reader identifies you with being the voice of the character narrating, but if that’s been the character throughout then it should be okay.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Wrote By Rote

  3. Toi Thomas says:

    Characters have to feel real, even if that means they are opinionated. I would say more, but don’t think it’s necessary. You simply can’t please everyone all the time. You decide what works best for your story.

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