Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Watching this video really makes me think about how we view ourselves, especially in this age of social networking. What do you put in your "About Me" section of all your accounts? You only have a certain amount of characters -- even if you have an unlimited space, who will want to read a long description? So we all fall back on adjectives we think accurately describe who we are: outgoing, curious, determined, optimistic, etc. But do these really cover all the bases? Is an outgoing person really outgoing ALL the time? And there must be a limit on curiosity; I mean, I consider myself a curious person, but if someone starts telling me about dust particles or something, I'm asleep before they even start.

So what's the deal? And has it started creeping into our writing?

I don't know about the rest of you, but I've been disappointed in a lot of YA books recently. A lot of characters have no depth. It's like the author decides: this character is going to be optimistic, so he'll never have a negative thought throughout the entirety of the novel.

No nuances, no shades of grey. Everything they are is contained within one word.

I don't know about you, but that kind of thing really bores me.

So let's keep an eye out for this sort of thing. Let's give life to our characters and make them act like real people. More than that, let's stop boxing ourselves in with labels we've created. It's okay to be the person who is outgoing sometimes and shy other times. It's okay to be a walking contradiction. In fact, let's face it: life (and books!) is way more fun that way.