Friday, May 11, 2007

Maureen, We Hardly Knew You

Tonight I was stunned speechless. My favorite character on Close To Home was shot in the head. I thought she was only wounded, but Kimberly Elise was zipped up in a body bag before my very eyes. Did I cry? What do you think?

Kim is best known for her role in the films "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" and "Beloved." I think she's beautiful and I loved her hard-nosed honesty as the Close to Home character Maureen. But what really appealed to me was that touch of loneliness and sadness she portrayed . She quickly became my favorite, and I'm so sorry we didn't get to know her character better.

So I'm asking myself, will I stay with the show? I don't know. Over the past few weeks I've been annoyed with the Annabeth character, but that's another story. Right now, I'm mourning Maureen, and thinking about the loveable old guy I killed off in my book, Reinventing Rita. Do readers forgive us if we make them care for a secondary character only to knock him off? Unfortunately, the answer is . . . if we do it right. If there is good reason. If they can SEE that good reason. I use the word 'unfortunately' because I wonder how we know we've done it right? Usually, it's after the book is in print that we get the honest feedback.

I read the following quote on another blog:

"The important thing in writing is the capacity to astonish. Not shock—shock is a worn-out word—but astonish."~~Terry Southern, novelist and screenwriter

Now, I want to know:
How do we astonish?

How do we KNOW that we astonished?

Who determines if we have the capacity to astonish?

With an apple I will astonish Paris. Paul Cezanne :)

In truth, the only restrictions on our capacity to astonish ourselves and each other are imposed by our own minds. David Blaine

1 comment:

Sandra Robbins said...

Jess, you can find the neatest quotes. Astonish instead of shock is a great suggestion. If we can do that in our writing, I don't think our readers will be very critical over the death of a character. And I'm sorry about Maureen. I don't watch the show, but I know the actress.