Wednesday, July 11, 2012

How Much Crying is too Much Crying?

  My main character is a cry baby.

  I just realized that.

  She cries too much, but she has reason to when she does. She's sees people die, people she knew, people she cared about. But sometimes I worry she cries too much. I can't have a good epic climactic crying fest because I feel like every other chapter she has one.

  I tried to build her up strong, and she mostly is, but she just cries a lot.

  Like a girl on her period. I don't care how strong of a girl you are. You can be Wonder Woman for all I care, but when you are one your period you cry at least twice a day. I am slowly starting to wonder if my MC is on it 24/7, and because there is not chocolate in the world she lives in, she is succumbing to the dark abyss.

  She just cries too much!

  And most of the crying occurs inside of my lead character guy's chest.

  I mean he never cries, but then my main character is just like *boo-hoo* I need a shoulder to cry on, oh here's this hunky guy, let me just soak his t-shirt, I haven't done that in a few hours. 


  So, how can I, when my characters won't stop their wailing, tell you how much crying is too much?

  Simple, I cannot.

  But at the same time I can!

  Crying is different for all of us. You may have never seen your Mother cry, while some people see her cry every day. You may cry when you got a C on your math test, but some people smile and say, at least I'm not failing. (Don't have that kind of attitude by the way.)

  I can tell you I'll cry at appropriate times, weddings, funerals, the end of the Harry Potter series...

  But do you? Do weddings really make you tear up a little? Does the end of the most epic series that ever walked the planet make you feel like you are slowly spiraling in to a bottomless pit of nothingness??!!

  It comes the time to ask yourself. Does your main character really need to cry here? Based on their personalities would they cry their guts out and hack up their lungs in the process, or would they shed a little tear and shred on through? So, now that you understand what crying is really about, ask yourself. Is your character cold and hateful? Then why is she bawling to the movie The Notebook?

  Now on the other hand if you have a ditsy blonde, let her cry to whatever chick flick she feels like! 

  Like the first world problems lady, would your character really cry because the remote was on the other side of the room? 

  I know my character is the strong type, but she's the strong type that ends up strong through their trials. She tries to take on things that eventually break her, but as Kelly Clarkson would say while pumping her fist in the air; What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!!

  So she has a reason to cry so much. She really can't handle what is happening to her. At least not yet, and she lets it out the only way she knows how to. Crying. And that's just how it'll be because she's who she is. And I can't change that. (Well, technically I can, but in the world of books let's pretend I can't.)

  Now if you came up to me and told me my main character was crying her guts out because someone ate the last brownie, then that would be odd.

  That kind of crying belongs to the world of characters in the their toddler years.

  But, please, listen to me when I say this. Even if your character does cry a lot, don't write unnecessary long descriptions about how much their chest ached and their breathing was rapid and the tears fell like waterfalls.

  We get it, your crying really hard. Now shut up so we can get along with the story!

  So, to cry or not to cry?

  That is the question.

  I guess you and your character will just have to figure that out yourselves.


  1. And I already commented on another post of yours, but I saw this on the side and clicked it. ALL my characters in my first book cried way too much. They had reason to, I guess. They were taken from their home, their families were killed, and they're being forced to do certain things in this society they've been hiding from that are horrible! But they cry to much. I'm too lazy to edit that book, it was my first. Maybe I'll go back to it eventually and take out some of the crying. Even my male MC cries...

    1. I know what you mean. My first book isn't worth editing much either. My MC cried a lot in that one to.