Thursday, March 31, 2011

A is for.... Anger

Welcome to my first post in the A-Z blogfest.

My partner, Andrew, was adamant I should write this first post about him, but sorry, darling. Not this time. I also should possibly write this about my new niece, Amelia, who was born yesterday. Welcome to the world, Amelia. Sorry I won't get to see you until... well, whenever I can save enough money to come to the US, or when you can come down here.

But enough waffling. I have chosen Anger as my topic for the letter A. Why? Because I have spent much of the week being angry. Work has been causing me stress, and that makes me angry. I'm not working on any new project yet, and I think not having that is also contributing to my anger. But I will be starting on that new project next week.

So. Anger. There are many different kinds of anger, and people have a huge range of ways of expressing it. When writing a scene in which a character is angry, it's important to show the right details.

Perhaps it's a low grade, seething fury. The character wouldn't yell or scream or break things. He'd be tight lipped, curt, trying to contain it. Perhaps is an outburst, in which case the character might hurl things, go red-faced and holler obscenities. Or maybe not. Perhaps this character tends to restrain his anger. Maybe his voice gets softer, his face white and pinched.

Everyone deals with anger differently, and finding the right way for your character to express it, is important. In Tail Lights, one of my characters, Tony, is a very controlled person. Throughout the book he's confronted with things that make him mad. He knows he's mad, but he chokes back the fury. He pushes it aside. You can only do that for so long. So, when he finally finds an outlet for his ire, you'd better believe it's an explosive scene.

On the other hand, my other character, Lucy, also has a lot to be angry about. She doesn't bottle it up though. She acts on her anger right away, doing things she's probably sorry for later. The contrast between the two makes for other conflict. And you can't have great stories without conflict, can you?

How do your different characters express their anger?


  1. One of my characters (actually me, in my memoir) didn't cry for a very long time when my husband left me. So when my second husband died, I realized how therapeutic it was to cry. So I did.

    I like this post. Good beginning.

  2. Great way to start the challenge. My characters aren't any stranger to anger. My MC, she loves to fight and so that's one way to let off her anger, she's also an artist so she has two outlets there.

  3. Good start to the challenge - anger is an abiding sin of one of my protagonists - she goes into such a road rage she follows a guy for about ten kilometres! Perhaps I can relate...
    Jan Morrison - clickable signature

  4. What a great topic to start the challenge. I hope to read many more of your posts this month.

  5. Great question/topic. One of my characters never expresses her anger - she's a slow seething type who supresses it until she's alone. Except when she's around one person and she just can't keep from taking his bait.

    I have another in the same story who's just the opposite. She's happy to tell anyone if they've made her angry, and demand whatever restitution she feels is fair.

    It's one of those emotions that's so fun to play with in writing, because it's not a pleasant one in real life.

    Hope you're doing okay :-)

  6. Third post this morning on anger. Seems to be going from endemic to pandemic. The key I would think is to learn to manage it so that it doesn't manage your character. Of course that would make dull reading, wouldn't it? Good start! Enjoyed reading.

    Gregg Metcalf
    Colossians 1:28-29

    Gospel-driven Disciples

  7. There's a lot of anger out there today, not necessarily a bad thing. Personally, I internalize my anger until it erupts like a, that's a bad thing!!
    Found you from the A-Z Challenge, sounds like it’s going to be a lot of fun, with maybe with a little bit of stress thrown in!! I’m now following you on GFC and I hope you have a chance to check out my blog!