Friday, June 29, 2012

Going Crazy with the Mad Protagonist

The WIP has reached that place called by Blake Snyder the Dark Night of the Soul, which (according to my reading of Save the Cat) should show up on page 205 or so of a three hundred page novel. What this means for Carina Nebula, the valiant escapee from the psychiatric hospital who has come back to Housel's Creek to clear her name and destroy her evil brother, is that she has to get sick again.


Depressing. But that's the whole idea, right? I've been researching various kinds of crazy, and talking to my psychiatric social worker friend, but the only way to get something credible on paper is from the inside.

One of the things the writers don't usually tell you is that they play all the characters in their books, even the nastiest characters, even the sickest. Another is that the best comedy is separated from horror by the merest hair. So I've got to write this chapter now, and it's going to make me a little strange. When I finish, though, I'll have something killingly funny.

Or maybe just killing.

I'll get back to you next week. I think.

Kate Gallison

*Photo by Melanie Orenius,


  1. Very method, Kate. Interesting. BTW, I have a clinical psych background if you ever want to ask any questions!

  2. She's the detective, right? Marvelous, against-the-grain heroine. I buy her.

  3. I think that when a writer slips into one of these maniac characters it's best to leave a trail of bread crumbs (or something) that will lead back to reality. Slipping into the dark shadows of these mysterious wooded areas is perhaps what Hansel and Gretel is about!!! Terror is in the eye of the beholder. Have a safe journey home.

  4. Kate, it sounds like you might have a hit on your hands, as in the tradition of those Scandinavians that are winning all the prizes! Good luck! Thelma