Why some characters go stupid
When I write with anger in my heart my characters usually wind up being very stupid. I mean they exhibit characteristics of low intelligence. Almost presidential you might say.
I don’t know if this is a statement about the people that are making me angry. My ego tells me that they are not like me and must therefor be stupid. Humility tells me that attitude is sick and wrong. My inner helpers, formerly known as my inner critics, are always disagreeing on such points.
I may also be mistaking irrational behavior for stupidity. Perhaps in my subconscious I equate the two. The perceived lack of a rational thought being evidence of an undeveloped mind. Then I wonder if this irrationality is merely a thought process alien to my own. Maybe I’m the one with the underdeveloped mind. Then I project my inadequacy onto my characters.
The problem with this is, I don’t write stupid characters well. Not just at the point of creation. Even when I attempt rewrites. I try to make them not stupid. I work for hours going over their character traits in my mind. Looking for the spark below the surface that raises them above their lot. A giant waste of time. Some characters are as dumb as a bag of hammers and that’s all there is to it.
The ultimate irony of this is that this failure to raise the intellectual level of my stupid characters makes me angry. I’m so good at self-interfering tendencies. Keeps me from having to do real writing.