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      Something Wicked This Way Comes...   10/09/2019

      The Autumn Supporter Giveaway!       Welcome to the very first of the seasonal BCF supporter giveaways! This month also marks one year since I took on the forum, so I want to say an extra huge thank you to all of you for keeping this place going. I have a little bit more to say about that later but, for now, let's get to the giveaway!     The Autumn Giveaway winner will be getting two Penguin Little Black Classics, The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe and To Be Read At Dusk by Charles Dickens. Both of these little books contain three atmospheric short stories, perfect for autumnal evenings. The winner will also get Mary Shelley tea (a lavender and vanilla black tea) from Rosie Lea Tea's Literary Tea Collection (https://www.rosieleatea.co.uk/collections/literary-tea-collection) and a chocolate skull, to really get that spooky atmosphere .   and...   A special treat for a special month. The winner will choose one of the following recent paperback releases from the independent bookshop Big Green Bookshop:       The Wych Elm by Tana French A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan Melmoth by Sarah Perry The Familiars by Stacey Halls  The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White   The winner will be chosen via the usual random selection process in one week. Patreon supporters are entered automatically. If you aren't a patreon supporter but you'd like to join in with this giveaway, you can support here: https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum.   I really hope you're all going to like this introduction to the seasonal giveaways. It's been a lot of fun to put together. Other chocolate skulls may have been harmed during the selection process…     
Michelle

Don't go in there....!

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I've almost finished a thriller, and there has been times when I've (in my head) yelled at the characters to not do a certain thing, or go to a certain place. However, if they sat around drinking coffee, the story wouldn't have progressed.

 

So, I was wondering whether you can forgive characters in thrillers who make silly decisions, if it keeps the story moving?

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I can forgive silly decisions if it fits with their character such as a moment of indecision following an argument or not actively looking out for the stalker when your dog has just been poisoned, that kind of thing.  We all do daft things at times, so that can be forgiven in our fictional characters.

 

What I loathe however, is a sudden personality change in an established character, be it in a series or in a single story that occurs without an explanation, but leads to a detrimental situation. Things such as a character suddenly changing morality or displaying a completely different set of personality traits, without a darned good explanation is too much.

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Nope, I have never had any patience for silly people who can't realize that if you have some crazy person coming after you you shouldn't do things like walk through empty parks in the middle of the night :). But I can understand if they are put in a situation (by the bad guy or someone else) that makes it impossible to avoid, that makes it more forgiveble IMO.

Edited by Vimes

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No one is perfect. Have I done a silly mistake myself? Yes. So I can forgive others for making them too. As long as they don't keep repeating them time and time again. There is nothing more annoying than a character repeating the same thing and expecting a better result. 

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There is nothing more annoying than a character repeating the same thing and expecting a better result.

This is also the definition of crazy according to someone who's name I can't remember at the moment :) lol!

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Wasn't it Einstein?

 

It does bother me if a character makes a lot of silly mistakes, but if it's just one or two things and it fits in with the character's personality that's okay.

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I have to admit that if those kinds of decisions are part of the character personality, I am going to start rooting for that bad guy in no time! I have thought on more than one occasion, "Please please kill them and put me out of their misery!" lol :D

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I don't start disliking characters because of mistakes they do. I can easily root for the villain (unless he/she is a psychotic murderer with no humananity) if the protagonist is annoying for any reason. And in some cases, I like and root for both the protagonist and the antagonist. Those are the best written! 

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It depends very much on the character - and how the situation is set up. I actually find it more annoying in horror movies than books, because I often find in books the reason the character would do that is more obvious/more in keeping with the character. The author has set the scene well.

 

Whereas in movies, it's often just done for dramatic effect complete with terrible suspense music.

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I have to admit that if those kinds of decisions are part of the character personality, I am going to start rooting for that bad guy in no time! I have thought on more than one occasion, "Please please kill them and put me out of their misery!" lol :D

 

:rolol:  Love this. ^^^^^^^^^ !

 

The "mistakes" that really kill me are when the idiot young delectable thing in the house hears a noise outside, knows there is a serial killer on the loose that loves to kill young and delectable things, and proceeds to go outside anyhow.  Usually with a flashlight that pinpoints exactly where they are, and then they whisper.......is that you, boyfriend/husband/lover.   Oy.   Whisper, I ask you!!  :roll:

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:rolol:  Love this. ^^^^^^^^^ !

 

The "mistakes" that really kill me are when the idiot young delectable thing in the house hears a noise outside, knows there is a serial killer on the loose that loves to kill young and delectable things, and proceeds to go outside anyhow.  Usually with a flashlight that pinpoints exactly where they are, and then they whisper.......is that you, boyfriend/husband/lover.   Oy.   Whisper, I ask you!!  :roll:

I know right!? It's just so....!!!!! :roll:

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That's always a tricky one. I don't so much mind characters acting in a way inconsistent with their personalities because what we show to the world is often a façade masking murky waters beneath. And let's face it, Agatha Christie built her career on criminals not being what they seemed. My big bugbear is the way coincidence moves a plot forward. It always smacks of desperation and a way of joining a plot together that wouldn't otherwise work. I don't wholly dismiss such coincidences but they have to be handled very smartly for me to accept them. Kate Atkinson is very good at such conceits though sometimes stretches the bounds of credibility, if with great skill and entertainment.

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As long as it's not too ludicrous and unlikely, I quite like screaming 'Don't do that!' at characters. Handled well, it makes me want to read on to discover the consequences and how they get out of the mess. Too many coincidences make me groan more, but in real life, there are occasional coincidences too... so I guess less is more in that respect.

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