I recently finished writing a short story that terrified me, not because it’s a thriller. The main issue was writing from a bully’s point of view. I struggled with third person at first. Then I thought it wasn’t really capturing the inside of my bully’s mind so I moved to the petrifying first person.
It was super difficult writing from a character’s P.O.V who knows she’s doing the wrong things and yet she still justifies herself.
The main character made me so uncomfortable that for two weeks I couldn’t relate or write anything from her point of view without judging myself.
Here lies the strength of a story map. Even though I knew each step of her journey, I still had a hard time justifying her actions.
After tons of feedback from my bestie♥ (Thank you so much Manessah)
Surprise scenes began coming along the way and my anxiety about writing from her P.O.V eased and blind faith in my writing sincerely worked.
Now that I’ve had some distance from it I’ve realized that my favorite authors write extremely flawed characters in the most beautiful ways.
This is one example:
“I’m here, I said, and it felt shockingly comforting, those words. When I’m panicked, I say them aloud to myself. I’m here. I don’t usually feel that I am. I feel like a warm gust of wind could exhale my way and I’d be disappeared forever, not even a sliver of fingernail left behind. On some days, I find this thought calming; on others it chills me.”
― Gillian Flynn, Sharp Objects
The only explanation I could come up with about this new short story is that I have a hard time acknowledging that such people really exist in the real world.
Some people do justify their harmful actions either for the greater good or for fun.
I’ve already submitted that piece to a contest and I know it could be a lot better. However, that’s the beauty of writing it could always be enhanced and edited. It was a wonderful challenge and now that I’ve crossed this huge barrier I know I’ll be writing more diverse P.O.V’s.