Because of facebook, I now know that a certain individual from my hometown is having serious health problems. He and I are not facebook friends, but we’ve known each other since we were five. Well, he was five and I was four.
Anyway. On facebook a mutual friend posted about his illness and asked people to pray for him, and she added, “He’s the nicest guy you could ever meet.”
And I, perhaps a bit ungraciously, thought, “No, he isn’t.”
Not that you shouldn’t pray for him if you believe in that sort of thing, but there is a reason why I’m not facebook friends with him even though thanks to the alphabet we sat next to each other for years in school. I’ve long though him a jerk.
Not that he doesn’t have family that loves him. He isn’t evil or anything. If prayer works then by all means he should be prayed for. I mean, if you believe in prayer, do you have to have a “nice” measurement to decide who to pray for? Obviously he has been nice to some people.
Of course, facebook is a natural habitat for hyperbole. Exclamation marks are the rabbits of the social networking!
But I was thinking about character and who we like and who we don’t the other day as I edited novel number one. In the story is a guy who is kind of a jerk. He isn’t a truly bad guy (like the antagonist). He tries to do some good things..while still being kind of a jerk. And I love him. And my protagonist grows to like him too.
Part of me thought…some readers will be annoyed that she likes this guy. He’s a jerk! She should slap him! Yeah…probably…but still…deep down he’s a nice guy.
The nicest guy you’d ever want to meet!
Characters that are too nice are boring, aren’t they?
But I wonder if this novel is ever read by anyone else, how they’ll see this guy. Will they find him oddly charming or a smarmy jerk?
You could pray for him, of course. But as the creator of my little world, I’m not going to intervene.