|Shadows (c) Alex Bruda|
For writers, communication is kind of important. And by kind of I mean OMG SUPER DUPER CRAZY IMPORTANT. Not only do you have to be able to communicate with your readers, but all of your characters have to be able to communicate with each other. You want your message to come across as accurately as possible and so correctly relaying information is crucial.
But that’s the problem. Information isn’t always relayed correctly. And even when it is, that doesn’t mean the person receiving said information will interpret it correctly. And that’s okay. It happens. Which is my point.
Have you ever been having a long, in-depth conversation with someone only to realize half and hour later that the two of you are talking about two completely different things? How about a text message from someone you don’t know quite well enough to be able to tell if they’re being sarcastic or not? Misinterpretation, misinformation, and miscommunication happen a lot. A LOT. It’s part of life and something we all have to deal with. What I realized last night while plotting book 2 in The Dream War Saga with the wonderful Lani Woodland, is that, as writers, we have to remember that. Whether the miscommunication is accidental or purposeful, it can play a huge part in a story. It can lead someone down the wrong path for a while (to build tension) or push them down the right one (to get yourself out of a tight corner). Or it can just be really funny watching two characters realize neither of them has any idea what’s going on.
One of my favorite funny examples is a song by Flight of the Conchords called Jenny. If you’ve never seen it, watch it below or find it on YouTube. It’s awesome and worth the seven minutes it’ll take out of your day. So, watch it! And then go ruin a character’s day by putting the wrong words in their mouth. 😉