When I asked for guest posts on SMoD&L, obviously I requested that the authors write something in-keeping with the theme of Darkness & Light.
Talk about sitting on the fence! Alexa Adena went for the neutral option.
I will even forgive his misspelling of the word grey… 😉
On this blog of darkness and light, let me speak in defense of gray.Or grey, since this is a blog based in Britain.That’s right, grey. It’s one of the more depressing adjectives in the English language: Dark, dismal, gloomy, dull, dreary, monotonous.
Every day we come across people who live in a black-and-white world — nothing but absolutes. If their friend has an opinion, the friend is right or wrong depending on whether you agree with them. Now if it’s something you feel strongly about, that person automatically becomes good or evil — friend or foe.
Life is easier in this world where grey doesn’t exist. We are all stereotypes. In the black-and-white world there are no vegetarians who wear leather, evangelical Christians who support gay rights, or Buddhists who spend all-nighters playing first-person shooters on their Sony Playstations.
What does gray have to do with this?
Grey lives between black and white. More importantly, it’s where you’ll find life. That’s where the real people live.That’s because we’re human beings who have quirks. We’re illogical and contradictory. We make decisions sometimes that aren’t in our best interests. (Heck, Spock on “Star Trek” would never have had anything to talk about if we weren’t so unpredictable.)That’s the key word here – unpredictable.Authors, you’ll do well to remember this — readers love characters who are real. The flaws don’t always have to be major but they have to be there. Every character doesn’t have to have as many facets as, say, Jane Tennison (television’s “Prime Suspect”) but it’s hard for a reader to emotionally invest in a character that’s too good to be true.So save the white for superheroes and black for the villains. The grey is for the rest of us … on the page as well as in life.***
Alex Adena’s novella “Signs and Wonders,” about a fallen faith-healer’s search for redemption, publishes on Aug 2nd 2011.
Check it out here:
Thanks Alex! We look forward to reading your new novella.
Finally, a little nod to Amy Winehouse today, on the day of her funeral.
She knew all about black and probably grey too. Let’s hope she isn’t ‘Back to black’ and that wherever she is now, there’s a little white in her world.