Types of Real Life People I Kill Off in Stories

Howdy, howdy!  I’d like to take a second to thank Joseph Carro once more for his super helpful guest post last week.  I hope everyone enjoyed it.  And now, for today’s post, I want to talk about some of the different types of people who make their way into my stories.  I’ve actually been a little aggravated lately (I try not to be easily annoyed, but it happens).  So, the different types of people I’m planning to talk about are usually the ones who die in my books and stories.  Painfully.  But don’t worry.  It’s just a cathartic type thing.  I’m not a sociopath.  I promise.

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See?  It’s on a mug.  I’m not the only writer who does it.

Type the first: people who flake on me.  These include, but are not limited to, the people who make plans then “forget” even though you talked to them that morning, the salespeople who make appointments with you then call two hours before they’re supposed to meet you to reschedule because of “conflicts,” and the people who offer to do you a favor then ghost you for six months in the hopes you’ll forget instead of just saying “hey, I can’t follow through, sorry.”  I know, in the grand scheme of things, none of this is really important, but it’s still super annoying.  And I will smile and pretend it doesn’t bother me, but rest assured… I’ve killed far too many people (some multiple times) for doing this stuff.

Type the second: people who insist on treating me like I’m mentally challenged (or whatever the proper terminology is today).  I admit, after it’s pointed out that I’m perfectly capable of thinking and speaking for myself, most people treat me like a human being.  But there’s always that one waiter/waitress who tries to walk away without taking my dinner order despite the fact that I ordered my drink perfectly well five minutes before that.  I even had a professor in my community college who would always act super surprised when I answered his questions correctly even though he didn’t act that way with everyone else.  To be fair, he was a nice guy and I loved his class, but it was a little annoying.  It always is when people underestimate your intelligence.  I don’t kill off this type of person very often, but sometimes it just builds up and I have to release my aggravation somehow.

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This face applies to everything here.

Type the third: people who assume I have no life.  These are the ones who call up or text and want to make plans for that afternoon/night.  It’s not so much my friends who annoy me with this crap as it is companies.  And it’s always medical supply companies.  In the past couple of weeks, we’ve gotten two calls from people wanting to come out that afternoon or the next morning.  I don’t wake up until the afternoon.  And it’s a little insulting when they act like I should be home waiting for them.  I have a life.  Okay, I’m usually at home, but that doesn’t mean I’m not busy.  Don’t just assume I’ll be here unless you make an appointment a few days in advance.  And then, don’t flake on me.  If you do multiple annoying things, torture will precede your death.

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The Interwebz gets me.

I think that’s enough ranting about the types of people who die in my writing.  Of course, there are many other categories, but these are the ones that spring readily to mind when I think about this stuff.  What about you?  Do you use death in your work as a way to deal with people who annoy you?  What types of people make it into your work most often?  Feel free to share your thoughts or comments here or on my social media pages!

Three Things Not To Say To A Writer

Hi again!  Lately, I’ve been seeing those lists of things that every writer supposedly hates to hear and decided to make my own.  It’s relatively short compared to the ten, fifteen, even thirty item lists I’ve noticed floating around.  This is mainly because 1) I don’t really pay much attention when I start to get annoyed by a conversation, and 2) people don’t generally ask me if I have a real job when told I’m a writer (I’m guessing that has something to do with the whole cripple thing, which I’m okay with), so I run into a lot less annoying people than the average writer.  So, here’s my very short list divided up into who shouldn’t be saying it.

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You wouldn’t be my first victim.

 1.  Publishers to writers (or any creative artists really) – “We won’t pay you, but you’ll definitely earn some exposure by being published here.”

If I wanted to work for exposure, I’d post my work on my blog.  I suppose that’s my “popular fiction” training talking.  We’re taught to start at the top (pro-paying publications) and work our way down (semi-pro, token, and as a last resort, exposure) until we receive an acceptance or run out of places to submit to, which makes sense to me.  Why not aim high?  The worst that can happen is a rejection.  I admit that I’ve submitted to non-paying things before, but they were special circumstances.  Even if I kind of understand it, I don’t really see the draw of “exposure.”  And I don’t know why we (creative artists) keep accepting it as if it’s a form of payment.

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This.

 2. Non-writers to writers – “You should write my life story! *proceeds in telling life story*”

Don’t get me wrong, there is probably some CNF writer somewhere who would be totally down for something like that, but I’m not that person.  Unless your life involves dragons or fairies or (literal, not figurative) demons, the chances of me writing about it are pretty slim.  So, maybe this one isn’t exactly a “don’t say it to any writer” thing as much as it is a “know your audience” type thing.  Ask us about the type of stuff we write, then if you’re actually interested in having your story told and that writer seems interested in telling it, go for it!  But, if it’s not something you’re truly interested in doing and/or the writer doesn’t write that type of stuff, it’s probably safer to not bring it up.

3.  Writer to writer – “You’re still working on that piece?”

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You really better be ill if you’re a writer and you’re asking me this.

 Yes, yes I am still working on that piece.  The question itself isn’t all that bad.  I don’t get bothered when non-writers ask it, because most people don’t understand what all goes into something like a novel or poem or short story.  But when a writer asks it, it comes across as rude.  I’m sorry I’m not as fast a writer as you.  I’m sorry I hold my work to higher standards.  Go worry about your own work and leave me to my process.

Those are my three big writerly pet peeves.  There are others, of course, but the annoyance levels all really depend on who says what when.  What are some questions or statements that grind on your writerly nerves?