It’s one of those questions, right? We all know it’s the riddle with no answer and also a thousand answers. There’s just something about the cadence when it’s spoken aloud that makes it a fun one to come back to, over and over — at least, if you get as excited about words as I do. With the rhythm that it naturally produces, it’s no wonder it’s often wrongly attributed to Poe by the layperson. Well, you know. That and the whole raven thing.
It’s an in-character blog for the lead in my novel. So, you know, enjoy, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Obviously, this isn’t going to be in my usual format, and nor is it technically about literature. However, Brooklyn Nine Nine is a sufficiently deep and well-done series that it fits into my broader categorisation of “talking about books” – i.e., fiction that makes me feel things – and I think that the whole point of a blog is to express all sorts of feelings. If political musings aren’t your things, feel free to skip! Breaks from why is X like Y tags will all be tagged accordingly. I’m also going to be trying to avoid spoilers for the show, but if you haven’t watched the first season or so, or don’t at least have a vague idea of the characters, you might want to avoid this one.
That said, let me get this going.
First off: yes, I’m fully, totally aware that I’m cheating a little with my formula: this isn’t a vague analogy, but, rather, a chance to explain myself. I mentioned before that Twilight (and its sequels) will be my go-to for “how not to do this” (hence the goldmine metaphor). However, the series is far from the only awful series out there, so why does it get this honour?
I’m not going to bore you by telling you what love is (even if you want me to show you), because we live in a society inundated with the message that it should pretty much be your number one goal in life to have that. Because of that, of course, there are a gazillion and one different websites, magazines, seminars, etc., all dedicated to telling you how to do love right. And in my extensive research on the subject and massive amounts of flawless romantic experience, the vast majority seem to agree on four key requirements for a significant relationship:
Pretty straightforward, right? You let your partner know what you’re feeling, you don’t lie, you trust them not to lie, and you treat them like a human being. There’s a reason that these things are the consensus on making relationships work.
Well, first of all, I will take any excuse to post pictures of cats. The fat one is Eric, and the dumb one getting Shannon-kisses is Sandy, and I love them with all my heart despite the fact that they’re an ocean away (do they have to live an ocean away?). And, actually, Sandy and Eric have very helpfully posed in these pictures in a way that perfectly demonstrates the point I’m going to make. So that’s, you know, exciting.
It’s much harder to take a picture of the concept of a character flaw, of course, so let’s just put in a nice definition straight from the mother of all resources, Wikipedia:
In the creation and criticism of fictional works, a character flaw is a limitation, imperfection, problem, phobia, or deficiency present in a character who may be otherwise very functional. The flaw can be a problem that directly affects the character’s actions and abilities, such as a violent temper. Alternatively, it can be a simple foible or personality defect, which affects the character’s motives and social interactions, but little else
Seems simple enough. As well as the above, since this is the age of the internet, almost all of you will have heard of the idea of a Mary Sue (fair warning: that is a TvTropes link). In order to avoid your character becoming a Mary Sue, or, worse, a piece of cardboard. one must ensure that they have a well-defined flaw to ensure that they are human.
Therein lies the rub, as the Hamlet misquote goes. Read more