Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Dangers of Rantasy

There seem to be two types of writers: those who think it is great to do a chat or interview as if they are one of their characters, and those who think that is kind of creepy. I am in the second camp. It may have something to do with growing up in the eighties with hard-core RPGers. Because you knew, and I mean knew, that if you walked into a room where someone was dressed as their RPG-character the wisest thing to do was jump straight out the window and run like hell.

I like fantasy, I like reality too--but I am genuinely uncomfortable with some kind of in-between rantasy and from what I see, so are quite a few readers. Actually it should probably be feality because with hybrids the first part of the word is the father. And (if I may so sexist in my phrasing) for me taking on your character's persona is letting your fantasy fuck with your reality. Maybe rantasy is when some blogger tries to get all grinchy and fuck with some one's innocent, harmless game of make believe.

But, for my part, I already spend hours every week playing with my imaginary friends and writing down their little adventures--I've got to draw the line somewhere....

8 comments:

Jules Jones said...

My number one problem with the idea of someone interviewing my characters is that they're a bunch of repressed gits who'd run away if anyone pointed a microphone at them. Me talking about them, no problem; them talking about themselves, major problems with suspension of disbelief.

(And dear god, I am *not* having Frampton inside my head even long enough to do an interview piece. There is a reason why Mindscan is written entirely from Reeve's POV.)

Rowan said...

*raises glass*

Ditto.

just...

a-freaking-men.

Dusk Peterson said...

My point of disbelief comes with the idea that my historical fantasy characters would appear on a blog, or that my leather characters would talk blithely about leather among vanilla folk.

I do find it odd when authors go entirely into one character's head, because all of my characters get bits of me. (I'm not privy to the secret of how they decide to divvy up the goods.) On the other hand, RPG doesn't weird me out, because I spent a lot of my child playing pretend, which was essentially low-tech RPG. When I took a drama class in fourth form, I found that I was asked to do the exact same thing - though I think I was the only person who actually envisioned becoming the person I was acting.

kmfrontain said...

I don't personally think it's such a big deal if someone decides to do a blog interview from one of their character's POV. I don't think it's cause to run in terror or that it needs much suspension of disbelief. What's there to be afraid of? What's there to believe? It's just having fun with a character in a different way than in the actual story line.

Emily Veinglory said...

I didnt say it was a big deal or frightening, but creepy. As a method of promo if it creeps out a significant section of the potential readership that might be something to bear in mind?

S.R.Howen said...

I don't even see why it's creepy. I don't think anyone is role playing as in RPG D & D, and isn't that what all writers do when they write? We play the role of all the character's in our book. And I think many more readers would find the chance to get to know their favorite characters better, than would find it creepy.

Do we find interviews and books with TV actors as their characters creepy? Is it role playing, well, yes. But the more into the role an actor is the better the book--same with a book, the better connected a writer is to their character the better the book . . .

A chance to see further into a character is a plus not a minus.

Emily Veinglory said...

I can't recall an interview that was with the character, rather than the actor.

My method is to write about the caharcter with empathy, not as him. Maybe that is something to do with it.

I get that many people see this is good clean fun. But I think there could be more awareness of readers who consider this to be Teh creepy. I know one person who said she left a chat because in-character chatting was weirding her out. Maybe it is only a few... maybe more. It might be worth asking at a place like RT forum.

kmfrontain said...

Odd about readers creeping out. Did you see the spoof at the end of The Twin Towers dvd? It was an Easter Egg, I believe. The guy who did Gollum was upstaged by his on-screen character during some Hollywood award event. This is the same idea really as writers doing interviews as the characters the writers have created. Just something fun to play with.