Out of Character
Have you ever been cruising along in a book, happily reading and tuning out reality, when a character suddenly does something that is so opposite of how they’ve been designed that you wonder what the author was drinking? And yes, I can guarantee the author was drinking… though it may have just been coffee… ohh speaking of… yes, this is my strange little segué into this week’s coffee talk!
Sometimes character mishaps will disturb you, sometimes you let them ride, but for today’s weirdness let’s turn the question inward. They say everyone you meet or see or hear about is character fodder. Well, that’s means you’re a character as well! So… Have you ever done anything that’s so out of character for you that your readers—friends, family, those around you—reacted? Maybe not verbally, but a raised eyebrow? How did you mimick Harpo breaking into song?
Personally, the one that pops to mind—and still troubles me—happened at WHC-NY. I sat on an open window ledge, on the 26th floor. Me! The girl with the massive fear of heights (acrophobia). She who doesn’t like standing on chairs because they’re too high. She who had been commenting on how she could feel the building wiggle and sway and adjust to wind and whatnot, while Dallas patted my shoulder and assured me that it was supposed to do that. Me… On an open window ledge… And yeah, it got the attention of the supporting cast. I’ll never forget the look on Bloody’s face when she grabbed my hand and pulled me down, “Let’s not sit there, ok…” I occasionally remember that and think a. what the hell was I thinking?! b. did I fall out of that window and die, and all of this is just a dream? Yeah, I won’t be doing that again… ever!