Friday, April 2, 2010
March Madness, Part 6--Keeping Emotions In Check
Yes, I know. It's a picture repeat, and technically, it's April. I'm still talking basketball, though, so please bear with me. One of the toughest jobs a coach has is keeping his players' emotions in check. They tend to overreact when a bad call is made or get a little out of control when things aren't going well. It is such a turn off when I see these things happen during a game. I want to shake them and scream, "Grow up!" But, there are times when I find a player's exhibition of emotion touching. It always boils down to one thing--whether or not it is warranted. In fiction there is a blurry line between melodrama and true emotion. As authors, we are obligated to keep our characters on the right side of that line. We have to make sure we give our characters appropriate reactions. Remember my first March Madness post about staying in control of our stories and not letting our characters take over? Well, this whole melodrama issue is the perfect example of why we should do so. Let's face it, characters roaming around without direction are spoiled little brats who become extremely melodramatic when they don't get what they want. Believe me, I've experienced this first hand. How do you tell where the line between melodrama and emotion is? And how do you keep from crossing it? Have a great weekend!