H8

When I cast the characters of my novel, the usual suspects were the first to be chosen. Talon, is my main character, the hero, the poor soul that goes through hell. You'll have to read the book if you wanna see if he makes it back. Then there is the antagonist, Logan, who is filled with H8red. Severe H8red. And the more he thinks about it, the more the H8 encompasses him.

At first, I didn't know where that H8red came from, who or what it was about, and why he even had it. But, as I go through my own journey of being a human, I realized that H8 isn't necessarily about who or what that person H8s. Somehow their fixation is a reflection of themselves, what they H8 about themselves, or what they fear.

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Take gay marriage. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. You would think that people here are open about gay marriage. I mean, San Francisco is the Mecca of Gay Pride! But California voted against same-sex marriage. Say what?

I had a few friends who are against it. Had is the fuckin' operative word here. Why would straight ass people be afraid of gay marriage? One of the reasons (excuses) is the influence on children. That they would become gay if gay marriage was allowed. Say what?

That's kinda like saying, "If you put two vanilla ice cream scoops in one cone, the third chocolate scoop will turn vanilla." My fellow ice cream connoisseurs are gonna ask, "What if all three scoops melt?"

And that's fear. Fear reflects peoples' insecurities about themselves, whatever that may be. It sounds obvious, but fear always leads to H8. 

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to H8. H8 least to suffering.  —Yoda, Jedi Freakin' Master

I tell guys that they're good looking, or tell people a guy is good looking, and I have no insecurities in doing so. Now, people may think I like dudes. But them thinkin' it ain't gonna turn me gay. So why would I care what people think when I voice my opinion?

However, if I wasn't secure in my own sexuality, then I wouldn't even think a guy is good looking because that harmless thought alone has the potential to shatter my sexual identity, and I would resort to H8 in order to guard my ego.

I remember one of my girlfriends asked me if I was OK that a former boyfriend of hers was gay (before he came out), and that they were now besties. I told her I was fine and didn't care what her past looked like, save for killing peeps, but that's neither here nor there nor anywhere. She had issues with prior boyfriends about her past. I just had fun with it. I teased her bestie a lot when we hung out, telling him I put out, but only if I was the giver.

Sometimes, however, I can't figure out why people H8, especially when that H8 is directed toward me.

I had dinner at a restaurant with some friends. Several of us had beers, a lot of food was ordered, and the place was hoppin' with Latin music. The bill came and one of my buddies entered into an argument with the server, stating there were two extra beers on the tab. Being busy, the server got in my buddy's face and pointed at it. Oh, no he didn't. Not the pointing of the finger! The server yelled at my buddy, my buddy yelled back, and I squeezed myself in between them and said I'll pay for the beers. I felt pretty good about myself. Not that I had solved our energy crisis, nor cured cancer, nor had given birth to a child. But I used to be a tightwad about money. I just wanted to get the bill paid and move onto our next locale. 

Afterward, some of us were talking about the food and service, which weren't that great. This one girl told me that I should not publicly complain about the service, then left. My buddy who almost got into a fight looked at me and said, "Shouldn't she be H8ing on me?" Not only that, I wasn't the only one who complained publicly.

Man, she must H8 Yelp, a small time website.

A couple weeks later, she had threatened that if I'm ever around, then she wouldn't be.

Why does this little girl not like me? I don't fuckin' know. But my mind wandered back to a time where I had been talkin' to two girls, and she was the third, standing there like a third wheel, more like a flat spare tire. I paid no attention to her because she hadn't said anything. Five minutes later, she huffed off.

Had she yearned for my attention, but didn't get it, so she H8s on me now? If not, then why had she stood there like a flat spare tire? Obviously, this girl targeted me and has some serious issues. I'd understand if I'd said something lewd to her. But I hadn't. Or at least I don't think I had. Either way, her H8 for me rests within her. She'll have to deal with it, endure the heavy emotions that comes with it, and suffer through it whenever she thinks about me, raising her H8 even more. It's a freakin' vicious circle.

And that's the main issue about H8, as Yoda, the puppet, had said so long ago, in a galaxy far, far away. H8 ultimately comes back on the H8er. And the only way to cure it is to let the H8 go.

Franchises

Most people abhor movie sequels. Not sure why since they usually do well in the box office. But I think the lost love comes from not being as good as the first movie. Part of that comes from character development.  With a lot of stories, the main character goes through a change like going from being unconfident to confident.  And once that's done that character becomes uninteresting.  The sequel now has to depend on plot. James Bond as a character doesn't change at all.  All of his stories are sold based on plot and fan base.  It's no wonder the actors change so much.  They have to to keep the audience interested.

Then came Casino Royale.  One of the things Bond doesn't do is fall in love.  He's a slam-bam-thank-you-mam kinda guy.  Nothing wrong with that.  He whips it out, tugs hard, holds tight, and bam.  I was talking about the gun.  But in Casino, Bond not only whipped it out--not talking about his gun--but let his love interest have it.  I'm talking about his emotions.

The man fell in love.

Add the banter between the two love birds, the plot, and a blonde Bond, and you get one of the best Bond movies ever made.  But once Quantum of Solace came out, it received mixed reviews.  And here we get into franchises.

In my search for a literary agent, I came across an article written by one.  He wrote something that made a lot of sense.  As writers, we have to know that the publishing industry is a business.  As a business, once a platform does well publishers will want to build off it to make more money.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians is a five-book series.  I haven't read the books, but I've spotted them as I walk through Borders.  There are tons of Trilogies.  But they're small potatoes.  There are book series that last a dozen books.  Some series are even ongoing.  Publishers often urge the writer to continue the series before venturing outside of that domain.

It's a business.

The problem, as stated above, is character development.  How can a writer continue to make the character interesting?  Put her through a lot of crap through plot?  Maybe.  How about having change occur in supporting characters?  Or what about creating new issues with the main character, and adding change in supporting ones?

Here's where J.K. Rowling did a great job.  As Harry grew up in those seven years, he changed just like a real person.  Shocking.  That and the red herrings, plot, the close knit friendships made for a great read.  Rowling satisfied the publishing world's philosophy of building on a fan base, but satisfied her fans by creating incredible plot with highly relatable characters.

As writers, we need to keep at heart the art but also keep an eye on the world of business.