Sunday, 5 June 2011

Murphy's Law

Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

I use this law all the time when I write. It doesn’t apply to me of course – it applies to my poor unfortunate main character.

Every time I put him into a new situation I think to myself: ‘What can possibly go wrong for him here?”

“Please, please,” he begs. “Can’t I have something go my way for once?”

But where would the fun be in that? Can you imagine what a boring story that would make?

“Sorry,” I reply as he clings to the rock face by his fingernails, the sea churning beneath him. “It would be far too easy to just let you climb out of here.”

His fingers slip. He falls…


There. Get yourself out of that one!


  1. Lol! Reminds of that old joke about the guy on the crashing aeroplane:

    Unfortunately, he had to jump. Fortunately, he was wearing a parachute. Unfortunately, his parachute didn't open. Fortunately there was a haystack below. Unfortunately he missed the haystack ...

  2. LOL - I remember this game...

    ...Fortunately he landed on a pile of old matresses someone had been fly-tipping nearby...

  3. Great advice Kate. It's kinda fun writing yourself into a corner like that and then having to think of a way out!

  4. Agreed, and the stickier the situation the more inventive we have to be :-)

  5. That's the best part about writing. Be cruel to your characters. :D

  6. Hi!
    So true, we're so cruel to our poor MCs! It would be so boring if their lives went well.

    I was just reading about your new kitties, they are gorgeous, aw cuteness. I hope they've settled in now!

  7. Hi Kate! Nice to meet you and thanks for stopping by my blog:) I agree with you 100% - a fully content character is a boring one.

  8. Good to see that I'm not the only cruel one :-)

    And thanks Penandpaints, the moggies are settling in very well. We've just started letting them go outside.

  9. This is the one aspect I find the hardest about writing - hurting my characters. I know they have to have rocks thrown at them, preferably from the bottom of a deep hole - but I keep holding back as I want everything to be nice. I will get there!
    Thanks for your congratulations by the way

  10. Haha, you are so mean!! Yep, we would have no story or interest if we were nice to our characters. I feel so bad I want to give them everything they ever wanted by the end, and I can't always do THAT, either. :)

  11. hehe, we are so mean to our poor characters. Let's hope they don't one day revolt! ;)


Please share you thoughts, I'd love to hear from you....