It's hard to believe one little word can pack such a punch. I mean, hello? It's nine letters long! What ever happened to sticks and stones?
Clearly, whoever came up with that pithy little saying we were taught as kids didn't know how deeply words can affect a person. Or define them.
Take the lead character in my first four books, Trevor Wolff. Trevor's all about the rebellion. Heck, he even quit high school two days before graduation, just to make a point. He's the sort who, upon hearing he shouldn't do something, will do exactly that. And the reverse, too: tell Trevor to do something and he'll refuse.
Worst of all: He's on to that whole reverse psychology thing.
It's enough to make a writer's head threaten to explode.
Except... it's Trevor's sense of rebelliousness that defines who he is. He's protecting something here, folks, and he figures the best way to protect that something is by beating any- and everyone to the punch. If you're going to tell him he's a lousy bass player -- which he is -- he'll be there first, bragging about it.
How is that rebellion?
Well, it's not exactly the sort of thing most people do, now is it? It's a rebellion against social conventions and mores, not the sort of rebellion people think a rock star ought to be engaged in. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll. It's the ultimate rebellion, right?
Or is it? I mean, it's been how many years since rock and roll changed the world? Let's see... we could say rock and roll began in the 1950s, with the advent of Tin Pan Alley (others will put it earlier and yet others will say later, with the breakout of Elvis Presley and the start of American Bandstand.). That means we're more than sixty years into the rock and roll rebellion. After a time period this long, we have to face facts: we're not talking about rebellion anymore. It's become a way of life, passed down from generation to generation.
Look at it from the point of view of Trevor Wolff. He's a bass player with big dreams -- of rock stardom but also of respectability. What could rebel harder against the rock and roll culture than respectability? To no longer be treated as the counter-culture but to be held up as an important part of society?
Yeah. That's where Trevor's headed -- or so he claims. The truth is so much more complex, but isn't that always the case? Aren't the best fictional characters the ones who we tend to forget aren't real? The people we can connect to? Or sometimes, even, the people who rebel for us.
Thanks to Mike for hosting an innate rebel like myself... but that is another post, for another time.
Besides the Shapeshifter: Demo Tapes, Susan is also the author of the novel Trevor's Song. You can find her website at http://westofmars.com, her blog at http://westofmars.com/blog, her Facebook at http://facebook.com/WestofMarsFans, and info about her other books in theTrevolution at http://westofmars.com/west-of-mars/the-b
Books can also be found at B&N and Smashwords.