Sunday, April 1, 2012
On this special day of fooling people, might I say that I'm SO VERY GLAD that I'm not good friends with a special effects make-up artist. I mean, can you even imagine how much of a freak-out factor they could create if they used their abilities on the unsuspecting that day? [Shivers at the thought of a "scary creature" hiding in my closet, one of my kids showing me a terrible "injury," or an awful "sickness."] I mean, seriously. Someone using those kinds of skillz to fool me could put me need of lifelong therapy.
As writers, we have just as powerful of a tool as their make-up kit: words. I mean what's our job description anyway? To make people believe something that isn't real. To create characters and convince people they are real. To create problems and situations and plots and convince people they really happened. Sometimes to even create a whole new world and convince people it is real.
We've had a lot of practice making people believe us.
Two years ago, I underestimated this power we wield, and wrote an April Fool's post on my personal blog about how my family and I were going to move 2,000 miles away. I put just the right amount of specific details mixed with fact to make it believable. I somehow managed to make my friends, neighbors, and family freak out, made my mom cry (although in all fairness, I told her it was a joke before she read it), and got 7 times the number of unique visitors to my blog that day than my previous record.
But it came with guilt. OH, THE GUILT! Apparently you shouldn't use the kinds of powers we have on the unsuspecting. (Although, incidentally, it did convince me that maybe I did actually have what it takes to write believably.) I don't know about you, but if my kid came home with a fake-but-looks-entirely-real bone sticking out of his/her arm from how he/she fell on the playground, I'd kinda sorta freak out.
So here is my warning to you. Practice responsible blogging, people. Lest the guilt consume you.