Monday, September 13, 2021

Character Rights

Can literary characters file complaints for the treatment they receive from an author?

Case in point, Lynn Carter, the love interest in my current work-in-progress, is living a nightmare. She’s been kidnapped, injured on the job, and expected to perform dangerous feats of physical strength and endurance without the proper training. On top of that, she’ll disappoint many people if she doesn’t show up at the scheduled time to perform her maid-of-honor duties in a few days.

Admittedly, I am interfering with her personal activities for which she has pre-approved vacation time. And she wasn’t informed of the hazards of the plot and setting when she took the job.

I think Lynn filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA would never approve of the hazards in my book’s plot and setting. They left a message on my voicemail last week – something about a workplace inspection.

As the author, am I legally responsible for characters’ health, missed commitments, and any lasting psychological impact my plot lines might have on them?


Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Life Changes

The Bedroom (1889) by Vincent Van Gogh
When my adult son asked to move back home, I envisioned pushing the queen size guest bed into the corner so he could set up his desk and work - with the rest of his stuff in a local storage unit.

Nope. His vision was stripping the room bare of furniture, then refilling it with a king size bed, a king size desk, a small couch, and a 60-inch flat screen tv. Oh, yeah, and the monster speakers. (I may need to get hearing aids so I can turn them off when the volume from his room gets too loud.)

I’m actually looking forward to the move. I predict he’ll upgrade the internet on the first day. I have six online writer’s meetings a month, and either my screen freezes, or I get the dreaded “Your internet connection is unstable” message at least half-a-dozen times an hour.

I’ll get a live-in dog sitter for when I travel, and he’s looking forward to organizing my garage. What’s not to love?