Greetings and Salutations marvelous readers of the blog,

Welcome. I’m feeling a little better now that I’ve had a chance to recover from my harrowing weekend in the Talbot Tomb, curtesy of Grave Digger. Today we’re finishing our talk about characters.

How do you feel about fictional characters with NO redeeming qualities? Do you think fictional characters should have some redeeming values? How about the bad guys? Should there be something, if not well-meaning, at least understandable? To that end, let me know your feelings.

There is currently a crop of popular dramas being played out every week on television that says otherwise. I’m not an avid watcher myself, but on the rare occasion that I join my wife to watch with her, I am amazed  at the total lack of moral or ethical compass demonstrated by the characters. Even the main character is often cheating, scheming, and manipulating for their own gain.

The popularity of these shows indicates that the reader might be okay with morally reprehensible people populating a novel. What are your thoughts? Would you read a novel where all the characters are seriously flawed? A world where no one attempts to compensate for their defects. In large part, I feel we live in such a world now. I for one am not interested in a novel that transports me to my current reality.

What are you thinking. Perspiring minds need to know. Sing out, as my friend Sister Madly says. if you’re not familiar with Sister Madly I recommend checking out “The Sixpence At Her Feet” Here’s the link. Weekly digest for The Sixpence at Her Feet, on September 3, 2017

I recently saw this on face book. (There was no attribution so to whomever this gem belongs please contact me and I will correct this oversight.)

When something goes wrong in your life, just yell, “Plot twist!” And move on.

It got me to thinking. As a writer, I put my characters through some really awful crap. Then I dangle the diamond encrusted carrot, leading them to think the worst is over and SLAP, they find themselves back up the creek without a paddle, or even a canoe for that matter. They’re so gullible. It’s fun to toy with their emotions. So back to this Facebook post. As I said it got me to thinking, what if I’m a character in some sadistic bastards head. WOW!!! Chew on that for a bit. Has the excrement impacted the rotating wind simulator lately, or are you waiting for that Doc Martin to thump to the floor.

Who is writing your story? Stephen King, Christopher Moore, or Jami Gray?

More importantly what genre is your story in? Romance, Urban Fantasy, Humor, Literary, or heaven forbid Horror.

Is it a series, insuring that your misery will drag out before the publics critical eye for decades to come? Or is it a stand alone in which your seemingly endless torment will surely end within 100,000 words.

Maybe you’re the fatally flawed heroine who gets the handsome sensitive man in the end, (romance) everyone say it with me , ahhhh. Or are you’re the pathetic geek who does everything to guarantee the right couple get together in the end, insuring your own anguish forever, (romantic tragedy) ouch.

Christopher Moore

If you’re the comic hero in a Christopher Moore novel it may not end well for you, as in It’s a Dirty Job. Or you could end your days laughing your Fool head off while debauching everyone else like Pocket in The Serpent of Venice.

Stephen King






If you’re in a Stephen King novel, well let’s just say there is very little hope for your eternal happiness, IF you survive you will be endlessly haunted by your trials.

Jami Gray









If Jami Gray is twisting the blade in your back you’re in for one hell of a ride in a world full of fantastical characters with political agendas that make Washington DC inhabitants look like boy scouts. As a Kyn you get really cool powers and monsters who abuse them.

So I’ve posed a lot of questions here today. As for me I haven’t decided what genre my story is yet, but I’m going to give it some thought before next week.

Here is my challenge to you. Click the little comment bubble and tell me what genre your story is and, if you’re feeling especially verbose, who do you think might be pulling your strings. Fabulous prizes await, okay sorry, that’s a bold face lie, there are no prizes.

We usually end with a short snappy quotation. This week I’m going to share the last paragraph of a short story by Tobias Wolf, called Bullet In The Brain.

The bullet was already in the brain; it won’t be outrun forever, or charmed to a halt. In the end it will do its work and leave the troubled skull behind, dragging its comet’s tail of memory and hope and talent and love into the marble hall of commerce. That can’t be helped. But for now Anders can still make time for the tethered dog to bark at the flying ball, time for the boy in right field to smack his sweat-blackened mitt and softly chant, They is, they is, they is.

For the rest of Bullet In The Brain visit your local independent book store and ask for Tobias Wolf’s The Night In Question. 

Thanks for tuning in,

Dave Benneman

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