Now for those of you familiar with the classic movie, The Princess Bride, you know where the title of today’s blog came from. For the rest of you- GO WATCH IT!
Ok, to sum up for you non-believers of the power of The Princess Bride, the line is from a scene where our hero, Wesley, who is recovering from being mostly dead for a while, finds himself facing his very able enemy.
When the big bad prince challenges Wesley to a duel to the death, our hero counters with, “No, to the pain.” He then elaborates how to the pain is much worse than to the death because after disfiguring the bad prince he will leave his ears- so he will hear all of the shrieks when people see him.
Now what has this to do with writing you ask? I am in the middle NaNo madness, ya know…to the pain seems very appropriate ;).
But this is really going that extra step as writers and making our characters go an extra step too. Wesley couldn’t fight at that point, he could barely get off the bed. But he convinces the prince that to fight Wesley would have such dire consequences (because he obviously thought this out) that the prince throws down his sword, and allows himself to be tied up.
All because the writer made the character go way beyond what was expected.
So next time you’re writing- don’t take your first idea, or even your second- find one that takes you to the pain J. Keep things fresh and unexpected.
Side note on my nano and the great outline experiment- about 50 pages in, haven't completely followed my outline, but using it more as tent poles. I'm on target for my sequence one ending though (I'm doing a three act/eight sequence outline- so in other words- I'm almost to the the half way point of act one ;)). Even though I'm not sticking with it as much as hoped, I will say the book is turning out much better because of it!