Not a whole lot of writerly words beginning with the letter K, so this post might be a tad bit of a stretch - but that's the beauty of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge! So to embrace the letter K and the fact that I write fiction, my topic today is:
Keyser Söze: One of the greatest multi-dimensional ficticious characters, of all time.
Writing is tough enough. But writing characters that have dimension? Yeah, that's an even harder task. It's so easy to think that the characters you've had in your head for so long, easily translate to your readers as just the best characters ever. But do they really? Which brings us to today's topic: Keyser Söze.
And who is he you may ask? Well, only one of the most brilliantly devised fictious criminal characters, from one of my all time favorite movies: The Usual Suspects, circa 1995.
If you haven't seen The Usual Suspects, the premise of the film follows the interrogation of Roger "Verbal" Kint (Kevin Spacey), a small-time con man who is one of only two survivors of a massacre and fire on a ship docked at the Port of Los Angeles. The entire movie follows Kint's narration during his interrogation, as he fabricates a convoluted story about events that led him and four other criminals to the boat - and of a mysterious mob boss known as Keyser Söze, who commissioned their work. Using flashbacks and narration, Kint's story becomes increasingly complex, leading his interrogators to believe Keyser Söze is the mastermind behind everything.
But it's all just a masterfully crafted plan by Kint's character, as he pieces together lie after wonderful lie - many of which are concocted simply by what Kint sees in front of him on the cork board in his interrogation room - creating one of the most brilliant fictious villians...hiding the real man behind the crime: himself. In the end, as he limps out of the pricinct - free on bail - and drives away, the police realize all-too late, that they've been had.
A brillant movie with so many twists and turns - all of it coming together in the last five minutes of the film, leaving you scratching your head and asking: did that really just happen? Friggin' fan-diddly-tastic!!!
And all of the above circles us back around to: writing characters that are multi-dimensional. This may be one of the hardest aspects of writing, whether you realize it or not - but to make a story grand, your characters must have more than two-dimensions. They need to be a story all in themselves, just like Keyser Söze.
So this leaves me to ask:
Are your characters Keyser Söze worthy?
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I purchased three of my favorite books: THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH by Carrie Ryan, THE DEAD-TOSSED WAVES (sequel to THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH), also by Carrie Ryan, and THIRTEEN REASONS WHY by Jay Asher. Now I just need to figure out where I'm going to drop them!