Don’t Annoy Me

A friend sent me this mug, and though I laughed at the sentiment, it doesn’t apply to me. I don’t put people who annoy me in my books — I’m more apt to walk away from them, and if I can’t, then I try to ignore them, and if I can’t do that, then I carp about them. (If someone annoys me online, I simply unfriend the person.)

Besides, it’s only when I am near such people that I find them annoying. When I am by myself, they disappear. To put annoying folk in a book would give them a bigger place in my life than they deserve. I’d also have to think about those people, and that is no fun at all!

And then there’s the whole thinking-makes-it-real philosophy. Supposedly, you can make things come true if you visualize them in the smallest detail. If you kill someone in a book, you’re definitely visualizing the act and all the details, so does that mean it could happen? If not, does it mean that the whole visualization technique of making your dreams come true is flawed? (It seems so. It’s never worked for me, anyway.)

The one time I did create a fictional death for someone I knew (I mean someone I know; she isn’t past tense yet!) I had a hard time convincing myself to write the story. Even though it was her idea, I worried that my thinking about the murder would make it happen for real. When I finally did decide to go ahead with the project, I made my internal conflict about killing her part of the story. And it turned out to be a fun book. (That novel, Madame ZeeZee’s Nightmare is now available for Christmas gift shopping!)

Despite all that, poor “Grace” was never one of those who annoyed me, and by making the book more about me than her, I managed to slide past the necessary visualizations. And oddly, one or two people who did annoy me no longer did after I put them in the book. I guess by writing about them and their quirks, they became understandable.

That gives me another reason not to put people who annoy me in a book. Do I really want to understand such folk? I mean, they are annoying!

Still, now that I have the mug before me, I’d suggest not annoying me. You never know — it might give me ideas.

Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels UnfinishedMadame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

7 Responses to “Don’t Annoy Me”

  1. Constance Says:

    What a terrible saying to put on a mug, let alone send it to a friend.

  2. LordBeariOfBow Says:

    Love that mug, wish I had one that says ‘He’ not ‘She’

  3. rami ungar the writer Says:

    Ha ha ha! I have a T-shirt like that. I wear it throughout the year, even in winter, though it just warns people that anything they say or do might go into my novel.
    I have put people in my stories though, usually when they cross me in just the right way. In one case, a guy on a forum I visit every now and then tried trolling me when I started a thread about an upcoming season of a TV show the forum enjoys. I threatened to write them into a story if they didn’t stop bothering me (my username links directly to my blog, and people have visited me from the forum). That shut him up cold, and I ended up throwing him into a story anyway. It hasn’t been published, but it did turn him into a creep, not too far from his actual online personality (kid you not, the dude talks a lot about seeing anime girls in bikinis. I made the character based on him a creep whose interested in teen girls’ stomachs and underwear).
    And not too long ago, a friend’s husband and son said my analysis of the movie Rogue One’s character development (or lack of such) was “garbage.” When my friend asked what they liked about the film, they said, “The action scenes!” I never said the action was terrible, I just said the characterization was lacking! So I put them on my list to get into stories, and one of them is getting into a story I’m working on now.
    I might have to do a full blog post about this. It’s a fun topic to talk about.

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