We all know them.
The people who become drama queens and kings because they want things their way or the highway.
They make up lies, create unrealistic standards, and generally make you hate every moment you spend in their shadow.
But damn do we love to read about them and see them on the screen.
So when is your drama king too much?
When does the drama queen become tedious?
This is a difficult question for every writer because it pretty much depends on the tone, setting, genre, and most of all… personal taste.
When I’m watching my favorite cartoons I notice that the ones I watch again and again are the ones where the main characters are really awful people.
The ones where everyone does the rights thing and there’s a moral to the story I can enjoy once… maybe twice.
But in reading I get easily exhausted by characters that have fits of drama on the page and I suspect the only reason it’s happening is so the author can generate some artificial drama.
Sometimes it works but generally it’s my opinion that it doesn’t.
Except in YA. Why is that?
Are we being realistic when we write YA? Or do we tend to accept that anyone under the age of 25 is a hot mess?
I know more adults over the age of 40 that are hot messes than under 25.
Perhaps it’s because we aren’t paying attention to the people who have real problems because we’re too distracted by the drama dorks?
I’m not talking about angst when I talk about fake drama. Angst is a very real emotion that everyone has gone through and most likely still goes through. I’m talking about drama that gets tossed into a plot because you don’t really have a good plot going.
I think it’s because it’s easy to hide the fact that you don’t have an original believable plot when you write YA.
And what about romance?
Fake drama is precisely why I stopped reading romance. I dropped that genre when I was sixteen because I realized I was reading it just for the adventure. I kept getting annoyed that the main characters were stopping to kiss and do sexy things.
I quit watching most action films because there was so much action and tacked on drama that I felt like I was being mugged.
I stopped reading most Westerns because the characters were tropes. Fake drama tropes.
I quit reading mysteries when it became clear that villains and heroes were more fake than the drama kings/queens.
It was all fun when I was a reader, but when I learned to write I became disenchanted… when I learned to edit I became jaded… all the carnival barkers and clowns looked like drama queens and kings because I could see behind the curtain.
Now here is where I have my epiphany.
IT’S ALL FAKE DRAMA.
So what’s keeping me in the stories that I read again and again?
How do I write a good story without relying on smoke and mirrors?
Put simply… a masterful blend of plot, tension, and interactions led by character driven scenarios.
I need to get back to work. The show must go on and I have some new Magick for you to see.
And it ain’t fake.
Art is Upon The Back Of The Beast by Jaded Ink at Deviant Art