Friday, 8 April 2011

Revenge through the key strokes

Writing a children's book is turning out to be so much F.U.N!!!!!!!!

I had an idea in my head a while back about the characters I wanted to use and have spent the last 4 months on and off writing about my 11 year old hero and his reluctant adventures in an alternate magical world.

JK Rowling apparently blubbed when she killed off Dumbeldore in one of the Parry Hotter books and when I heard that I snorted derisively and thought "what a sad cow".

Now...well, I can kind of relate to that as it is easy to become attached to characters you spend time thinking about, writing about and even dreaming about.

The main hero is not the 11 year old boy but a bad ass half human warrior who at one point in the book takes it upon himself to take revenge on a 12 year old bully who deliberately reduces a little girl to tears by destroying her favourite toy. The boy is terrified by the warrior's intervention and while he doesn't hurt him he does take something the boy cherishes to make up for the hurt he caused.

My girlfriend thinks this is bullying too and that while she can see where I'm coming from she suggested that I write a bit at the end of the chapter that not only was the little girl made happy by the resolving of the situation but the boy was able to see the error of his ways and reformed, becoming aware of his thuggish behaviour and evolving morally as a result.

I countered that I couldn't give a flying fuck about the the bully and the whole point of the passage was to illustrate that kids who gleefully reduce little girls to tears and then laugh at their misery do NOT like to be treated as victims themselves. We then had an hour long ding-dong about this where she said that I am too full of ideas of personal justice.

I consulted a couple of other people and my co-ordinator at work told me she agreed that it was excessive while a fellow teacher who's an ex US Marine said he totally agreed with me, especially as the kid wasn't hurt by the hero, the hero merely stole from him as a punishment for his rancid behaviour.

The acid test was when I asked my class of 12 to 16 year olds yesterday. The girls are all team Edward or team Jacob and the boys are football obsessed and like playing X-Box 360 or PS3 war games. They also agreed with me and said the punishment I'd described was justice.

So it stays in the book, although I did remove the line "make a sound and I'll kill you!"

Me and the Missus had another row again last night when I said that my favourite scene in 1980s action/ exploitation, vigilante, revenge flick The Exterminator was when the anti-hero tied a paedo-pimp down to a mattress in his kiddy brothel, poured lighter fluid on him and set him on fire.

Maybe he could have tried reasoning with the guy.

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