Tuesday, 7 April 2015

A to Z Challenge 2015 - Emotions & Reactions - F is for Folly (writing discussion & fiction)

A to Z Challenge 2015 - Emotions & Reactions









This year for the A to Z Challenge, I'm investigating emotions and reactions and their use to in writing. So, I'll be talking about my first thoughts as a writer when I think about the words we use to describe emotions and my experience of their use in literature and TV/film.

folly
folly: lack of good sense; foolishness.

The strict interpretation of folly above may suggest we're heading back into embarrassment territory again, and that is a possibility, but that's not always what folly is about. Folly can be seen in both love and action, and, indeed, many, many horror stories - where would the plot of any standard horror film be without the person walking into a room without turning on the light?

The Fool in the Tarot Deck represents beginnings, starting out, a free spirit, only when is it reversed does the card suggest foolishness and risk-taking. Folly, for me, can therefore cover all these concepts. Without going against your sensible brain and trying something new which might seem risky can we sometimes move on. These kinds of new experiences can be linked to expanding our creativity.

Harry Potter would have been a much more boring set of books if Harry and his friends had never risked folly. If he had done as he was told, kept safe and not left his good sense back in his trunk sometimes then we would not have had the quest for the Philosopher's Stone, nor, indeed the tragic flight to the Ministry of Magic. Hermione, in many of these situations where folly was close at hand, was our voice of reason, and her contrast made the adventure all the more thrilling :).

So, folly is fun to play with, it can lead to successful adventure, and it can equally lead to disaster, and it is this uncertainty that makes it such a useful tool for writers.

QUESTION: Do you love reading/watching a heroic 'fool', or do you just want to slap them, or maybe a bit of both?

~

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29 comments:

  1. If the character is portrayed right then I'd like to slap them upside the head after they've had their foolishness.

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    1. :) yeah, let the foolishness run its course!

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  2. Hehe, you're right about folly being needed in horror films. Without it, so many movies would never have been made. ;) As for the heroic fool, I think it depends on the character. I can get on board with a character doing a lot of foolish things in the name of "passion" for example. Also, foolishness can be a good way to portray flaws, which we all have.

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    1. True, books would be very boring without character flaws :)

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  3. I'm such a cautious and well-disciplined person, I think it's the main reason I can't watch horror movies... I keep yelling at the screen at people every time they do dumb things... :D

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary - Epics from A to Z
    MopDog - 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

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    1. LOL! It depends on the horror movie for me - I can sometimes suspend by disbelief, but, if the movie is too formulaic, I'm with you, yelling at the screen is allowed :)

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  4. Folly is just a fun word. Even my characters get into folly. ;)

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  5. Folly is just a fun word. Even my characters get into folly. ;)

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  6. I think its good to have a little folly now and then in a story and in life as well :)

    betty

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    1. Yes, trying something new, not being afraid of failure - we all need a little folly!

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  7. The danger with introducing folly into our novels is the bad reviews that can follow. Reviewers love to tell us how "stupid" our characters are. They love to tell us how they would never do something so "stupid." That said, bad reviews don't necessarily harm sales, and, like you said, not introducing folly would be a shame, indeed. ~~~ My characters will continue to take risks and do "stupid" things.

    Precious Monsters

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    1. I think, as long as folly is 'justified' by the plot, i.e it makes sense for the characters, their world view, etc, then reviewers can 'go jump' :)

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  8. Yes, people always get upset in fiction when people make stupid choices but the truth is: 1) people make stupid choices every day and 2) fiction would be really boring if everyone did the smart thing!

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  9. Good definition of folly, I'll remember that. High stakes can make a story and it would be pretty boring if the characters turned their backs and walked away!

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    1. Yes, it would - no risk, no reward :)

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  10. I think I'd like to smack him! But that's just me. LOL!

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  11. It also depends. If they are looking back for the bad guy while running away then it's where the heck is my two x four. If its more about messing up while trying to achieve something then I'm Okay with it.

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    1. LOL! OK - I see where you're coming from with that :)

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  12. Well the best heroic fool would Ash from the Evil Dead series. And yeah I like him even though he can be an idiot at times. ok a lot of times.

    --
    Tim Brannan, The Other Side Blog
    2015 A to Z of Vampires
    http://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/

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  13. lol Not really want to slap them, maybe turn off the tv. It depends on what kind of fool they are being. If it's nervous fool, I'll keep watching.

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    1. so nerves make them a more interesting fool - ok :)

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  14. Hehe. I like the word folly. It's fun to say. And can lead to many adventures.

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  15. I like the hero that isn't afraid to try the foolish thing to succeed. If you succeed, then it wasn't foolish and that's a gamble worth taking sometimes. I really like your challenge theme!

    You can find me here;
    ClarabelleRant

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  16. A little bit of folly goes a long way, and helps keep the story more interesting! I'm glad I found you through A to Z, Sophie! I'm your newest follower!

    Julie

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  17. If you didn't have folly, you wouldn't have adventure. Why should a character play it safe all the time?

    Sunni
    http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com/

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