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Showing posts from May 26, 2009

My Inability To Understand Human Nature

Human nature is a copout. I've been hearing about human nature my whole life. People excuse all sorts of behavior with that little phrase. "Oh, it's no big deal. It's just human nature--"

As if it's 'human nature' to lie or cheat or steal. As if, by token of being born into this species at this stage of evolution we are justified somehow to behave as we please. Unfortunately, I'm no good at deciphering 'human nature.' I find myself, frequently, wondering why it is people act the way they do.

What makes this even more disturbing is that as a writer, my job is to understand human nature. After all, it's that indefinable quality that makes characters have the quirks they do. We create these imaginary people and then we give them personalities and inside those personalities, human nature comes into play. BUT as writers, we have to rely on more than human nature to make a character work. For example, if a character lies we can't ju…