Thursday, November 15, 2007

Any Resemblance is Purely Accidental

People often ask me if I resemble the main character in my novels.

My answer is complicated because in many ways I don’t. I’m not nearly as good-looking as Garnet is, but I certainly have moments when I’m as flighty. Actually it’s one of the many arguments I end up having with my critique group. Often they say, “How can Garnet be this dumb?” and I think, “Uh, I just wrote what *I* would have done.” What does that say about me, eh?

I was reminded of this because I’m in Indiana. I’m here visiting in-laws who usually have awesome (and unsecured) WiFi. It’s one of my favorite things about visiting… besides the company, of course (*cough* *cough*). The point is, I’ve been attempting to “hack” into my father-in-law’s wireless so it will let my laptop in. Not that he’s not helping me, but alas, he had that nice fellow from Comcast set everything up for him, and he honestly doesn’t really remember the passwords and whatnot…. which brings me back to my point. If only I was as computer savvy as my alternate personality’s character “Mouse,” I’d have had this done yesterday.

Alas, my computer skills are much more on par with Garnet’s than Mouse’s. That’s something that’s worried me in the past, actually. Something that Spock may have said in “Mirror, Mirror,” when the away team ends up on the alternate reality Enterprise with the bearded Spock and the murderous crew, which is (when they discover their counterparts were quickly discovered): ”It is far easier for a civilized man to play a barbarian, than for a barbarian to play a civilized man.”

Stupid I can write. But smarter than me? I think this is often a problem in SF/F because we occasionally portray computer crackers, scientists, girl geniuses, alien intelligences, and the like. Presumably the characters are only as smart as their creator. You think that’s true? How do you deal with those kinds of personality differences?

1 comment:

Sean M. Murphy said...

Quite a difficulat problem, I agree. I think some of the more successful stories I've read that circumvented this problem were created layer by layer, so that the author tricked themselves into seeming smarter than the average person by reversals and actually changing the story from draft to draft.