In this episode of the Am Writing Fantasy podcast, Autumn and Jesper compete to come up with the best (or worst rather) list of things you could ever do to your characters.
Here's a list of the worldbuilding and RPG podcasts where Autumn and Jesper were interviewed recently.
Worldbuilders Weekly: https://youtu.be/I_yLroTjxVc
Game Mastery: https://anchor.fm/game-mastery/episodes/Episode-23-World-Building-and-Storytelling---Interview-e1068tb
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Read the full transcript below.
(Please note that it's automatically generated and while the AI is super cool, it isn't perfect. There may be misspellings or incorrect words on occasion).
You're listening to the Am Writing Fantasy podcast. In today's publishing landscape, you can reach fans all over the world. Query letters are a thing of the past. You don't even need an literary agent. There is nothing standing in the way of making a living from writing. Join two best selling authors who have self published more than 20 books between them now onto the show with your hosts, Autumn Birt and Jesper Schmidt.
Hello, I'm Jesper.
And I'm Autumn.
This is episode 128 of the Am Writing Fantasy podcast. And we are going to have some fun today, as we share the top 10 worst things you could ever do to a character. And as usual, we'll have to vote on one by creating the best or the worst list, so to speak. So I think it's the worst list we should call it. Isn't it?
I think it has become the worst list, like put on the worst thing that we can do to characters. That makes sense in a way.
Jesper (1m 7s):
Yeah, I think this should be interesting.
Autumn (1m 11s):
It should. And I have a total confession to make is that I I've had a very busy week and my husband had recently gotten a second vaccination and he had a bit of a reaction and was not doing so well. And it was this morning. I opened up, I think, goodness, I was doing my homework. I opened up a sauna or a little checklist to look, to see what the topic was. And I said, oh crap, I've got to come up with a list. So I feel like I did, like, I did my homework right before class, but that doesn't mean it is not awesome. I put in a lot of mind power to make this list very quickly.
Jesper (1m 48s):
I'm pretty sure my list is better than you, Autumn.
Autumn (1m 51s):
You always have that confidence. So we will see.
Jesper (1m 57s):
It's like fake it till you make it, right?
Autumn (1m 60s):
That's all right. But let's just do it. You can't rattle my cage. I am completely confident in what my abilities here. So I have done some horrible things to characters. I am calm. I'm good with this.
Jesper (2m 13s):
Okay. Well, I might have a few surprises, but I am looking forward to see what you came up with on the fly, which of course cannot be as good as the, but on the other hand, yo, I have to say if what you came up with on the flies better than the stuff that I really thought about, then it's not good for me.
Autumn (2m 30s):
It's true. I might have to give me this one. We'll have to see how it goes. I'm sure yours are very good.
Jesper (2m 37s):
Of course, of course, of course.
Autumn (2m 40s):
And so how have things been over in Denmark?
Jesper (2m 46s):
Well, something crazy happened this last weekend.
Autumn (2m 50s):
Really? Just over the weekend?
Jesper (2m 52s):
Just over the weekend. We went to a restaurant really, who would know something as ordinary, as visiting a restaurant would suddenly feel you saw other people eating. Yeah. It wasn't incredible. Well, the service was not good, right. Or to have for a go to a restaurant. Yeah. It was like the, the waitress. She was really nice and smiling and helpful and all that. So nothing wrong with that. But I think it was in the kitchen, but every single order got messed up. So we had to keep sending stuff back.
Jesper (3m 32s):
It was a sushi restaurant, so we have to keep, and they may get on order. So we kept sending stuff back and then we had to wait another 20 minutes until the meat, what they were supposed to make in the first place. So at the end we could have eaten a bit more, but we just got to like, ah, I'm fed up now. I don't want to wait another 20 minutes on another wrong. Right in the end we just left. But that's, it was still good. We still went to the restaurant. So that's pretty cool.
Autumn (3m 59s):
And I'm jealous. I love sushi. I actually planning on my husband's going away soon for a training. It might be gone as much as three weeks. I'm going to miss him like crazy. But I'm thinking he's not as big of a sushi fan as I am. So I'm thinking of maybe learning to make some sushi while he's gone, because it's like in Vermont, for some reason, it's not a good sushi selection. It's like California roll in that sense. Okay. Okay. I absolutely love sushi. It's one of my favorites, to be honest, I come over where you're going to a sushi restaurant then, because I can't wait. That'd be so awesome.
Jesper (4m 36s):
Yes. This a local restaurant here. It's all you can eat sushi. Oh, just keep watering. That is fantastic. Okay. I'm going to fly to Denmark to get sushi that can't be sure it's a funny world. Yeah. But I think other than that in writing news, I'm just putting the finishing touches on the outline for book two and our new series. So I'm hoping to send you that final final.
Autumn (5m 3s):
I cannot wait to see that. That'd be fantastic. Yeah. Then we can get into that. But what about you? Oh, well I can at least say the leaves have finally popped here and it looks like spring, even though the weather's, you know, actually kind of like light jacket weather, but it's sunny and the Birch or the beach trees are pollinating and they have these little Tufts of, of just like poof that are part of their pollen. So it kind of looks like all these little floating feathers through the forest. It's very magical and beautiful. Nice. It sounds like a faith place. It's me. Of course it is a very paved place. I know they live all the Jack in the pulpits are up in the Trillium or blooming.
Autumn (5m 43s):
So it's beautiful. Little ferns are popping though. I have to say my editing. I cause you know, I'm editing our first book one and I'm trying to edit the last book of my face series and there's a lot of editing and I have to do it. It's not going as spectacular. I'd like, I need more hours during the day, but I'm still pushing through. I might end up pushing back. This is, I guess my first official worry announcement that I might end up pushing back the publication of my final book. Cause it's just, I actually need another chapter and it's just not where I want it to be. So I have to do-
Jesper (6m 20s):
That's understandable. You're editing two books at once, right? I mean, it's understandable. It's a bit much.
Autumn (6m 26s):
Yeah. Some other jobs on the side and yeah. Other things going on and I get my second vaccination and couple of weeks in a week or two. So once that happens, I I'm totally, after watching Adam go through his I'm expecting to be down for a day and I, my backup person, I was here for him, but he's going to be away from me. So it's just going to be me and the dog taking care of me. Yeah. The doc can bring you some, some rodents that he killed outside or something. Yeah. He won't be making me tea and bring me a hot water bottle at 2:00 AM. Like I did for my husband's. So I'm expecting, I might be down for a day or two. That's kind of slow me down more.
Autumn (7m 6s):
Darn it. And I've been going to, I remember I'm partially deaf. I've been getting that diagnosed a little bit more and dial it in to see if there's something that could be done. But the point mints take time too. So it's been a week of a month of lots of things going on. Yeah. Too busy, too busy.
Narrator (7m 26s):
A week on the internet with the Am Writing Fantasy podcast.
Jesper (7m 31s):
Speaking of being too busy over the past few weeks, we've also been on a number of podcasts talking about world-building haven't we, Autumn?
Autumn (7m 39s):
We have. It's been so much fun. It's world building and we've mostly been talking to a role-player games and games. Oh. So it's brought back some memories. I have not thought of in probably two decades. It's been wonderful.
Jesper (7m 54s):
Yeah. We've been on the world builders, weekly podcast, the tabletop totality and the game mastery podcast. So it's been really fun and I think also very different conversations compared to what we normally do on this podcast. So if you're interested, dear listener, we have added links to each of these interviews in the show notes. And well, then I would encourage you to go and check that out. If you interest us loads of world-building tips in those interviews.
Autumn (8m 25s):
It was, yes. World-building tips and some character tips and some writing tips and just a shout out to all three of them because awesome podcasts, awesome hosts. And it was so much fun to be on there and getting to talk to them. It was, it was as close as we can get to socialization in the last year. That's true. Yes. And, and also, I mean, just the whole role-playing community there and, and, and how, and to see astic, they are about world building and it makes it so much fun. Oh, that, yeah, I totally will. It's like if it was not, if it was more than my husband and I there's gotta be like groups that do this via zoom, it was, it would just be so much fun to do it again.
Jesper (9m 5s):
Yeah. Yeah, indeed. Okay. But before we close out this section here, I also wanted to use the opportunity to thank everyone who left a rating and review over the last month of the am, riding fences, you podcast, because we did have quite an uptake and that is highly, highly appreciated. Yes. Thank you so much. We, it helps the podcast helps people find us and it makes us feel loved. So we appreciate that. Absolutely. Yeah, because it's like helping other listeners. So when you leave a rating or a review, because then when people start typing in writing or something in their podcast app, then the podcast platform will actually show our show if it has some good ratings and enough reviews and so on.
Jesper (9m 52s):
So yeah. In other words, you were helping fellow podcast listeners. So if you haven't done so already, please don't stop now, go on and the, to your podcast app and leave a rating on review. It, it only takes like a second, but it really helps a lot. So if you already did it, thank you so much. And if you didn't just post a podcast here for 10 seconds and then leave the rating and review and then press play again. Sounds good. Thank you. And onto today's topic, I must admit that at first this sounded really easy, but then when I got into it, I did start wondering what you would come up with and then I just kept looking for something better.
Jesper (10m 42s):
But then when you then said in the beginning that you hadn't really prepared that much, then I feel a bit better.
Autumn (10m 48s):
Oh, glad that helped you. I'm sorry that I was competing with me. It was intimidating to you apparently. So, you know, I, I wanted to make this one easy for you.
Jesper (10m 58s):
Yeah bBecause people have been mean to me on YouTube comments and stuff like that, saying that the Autumn always wins and stuff. And so yeah, I have to, I guess up my game a bit, I see really trying to prepare and if I lose now, then I'm going to go and dig myself a hole outside or something.
Autumn (11m 18s):
That'd be horrible. Well, hopefully you were prepared. I'm sure you're going to totally blow me out of the water and you have to think of it. I it's sad. I'm coming from the state. So whenever someone says, oh, you're going to win. I hope they're not saying that just because I'm the girl. So, you know, I want to win honestly. And I did not work for this one, but it's funny. I started out by looking at this when I saw the topic like, oh, I have no idea what to do. And I started coming up with some and I did a little bit of reading and thinking and thinking about it. And I'm like, oh, got this one down. So, oh no, that's what I want you to say.
Autumn (12m 3s):
I felt intuitively this was my topic. Sorry.
Jesper (12m 7s):
So this will be fun. Yeah. Now I'm already feeling like maybe my list is not strong enough. I don't like that. You, you make me doubt myself.
Autumn (12m 16s):
I'm just helping you become a better, better at torturing your characters. I don't know. Is that though? Is that the outcome we're hoping for?
Jesper (12m 28s):
Yeah. At least I have five prepared and I have ranked them as well. So number five is the least bad. And then number one is the winner. That's going to take the take all. All right. You may be well, we'll have to see, I have mine ranked and they're ready to go. So I, who do you want to go first?
Autumn (12m 44s):
Do you want, do you want me to go first? Will that make you feel better? Do you want to go first and just totally amaze me? I think, I think I might.
Jesper (12m 57s):
Hm. Well, the thing is that because it's, it's a hard question because with number five, it feels like it's probably good to go first with number five, because then you're putting a bit of pressure on the other one. But then at number one, I feel like it's better to be last because then you can sort of finish it off on a big bang right there. Like this one is the best and you've finished off with that. So I have to flip a coin. What did we do last time? I think you started last time you started last time. Yeah, damn. Then I have to go first.
Autumn (13m 32s):
Okay. Your turn. Okay.
Jesper (13m 34s):
All right. Number five. And of course, keep in mind that this is the least worst of the worst. So it's only going to get better. All right. So if you feel like this is not that bad, then it's going to get a little, okay. All right. That's the way it's supposed to be. Yeah. So number five, let's call this character, Mr. B. All right. And you'll understand why in a moment. So Mr. B, he is very, very chatty. He is very outgoing and in general people really like him.
Jesper (14m 18s):
However, and here comes, he has like an involuntary habit. No, it's more than a habit. It's more like a compulsion that every time he greet somebody, he has to burp the person in the face. It's just me. Oh, I would. So back home. I wouldn't be friends with them. That's for sure. I can imagine. No, not every single, so he's very likable, but then he's, he stops off really bad every single time.
Autumn (14m 49s):
Yes. I feel like that that would be pretty bad thing to do to a character that would be mean to do to a character I have to. And you had to be actually worried because I'm funny, true story is my husband likes to whistle and it was probably five years into our marriage. When I realized what he likes to whistle is who's afraid of the big, bad Wolf. I think I finally stopped. I'm like, I am putting that into a story someday, because that is like the perfect serial killer. You have this nice guy. He's a good guy about town, but he whistles. Who's afraid of the big, bad Wolf and somebody finally put together. So, you know, I was a little scared there that you secretly knew that I like that one.
Autumn (15m 31s):
There was also, what was it? Was it in kill bill or which one was it? Where there was also somebody who walked around whistling all the time. He was actually pretty cool. He was like, I can't, I think, I think it might've been, but it's been awhile, but yeah, that is definitely a very annoying and trait. Yes. It's not like the worst of the worst, but it was also number five. So it's going to be a lot worse for the characters here, but, but it's sort of a, it's not throwing you a softball, but it's more like a curve ball. Right. So it's, it's a bit difficult, but not too hard. Yes. Let's see. I, and I think it's interesting because you did this by literally creating a character perspective.
Autumn (16m 14s):
And I did it more top level of as a writer, the worst things you can do to your characters, because I just love doing things to my character as I've just, I mean, that way. So you want to hear my number five? Okay. All right. I am. And this is, again, it gets worse from here, but I'm starting off pretty heavy hitting. And I'm just going to say killing off friends and family, especially in the first chapter of a book like that, it's all his friends and all his family doesn't have to be all about. I, it could just be just the parents or just the siblings or just the friends, but just that trope. And I put that as my number five, because that does like every Disney story ever.
Autumn (16m 57s):
And to me, it is so over done. And that's why I put it at the first spot, but it is also so hugely impactful to lose a family member or to lose a good friend. So that's why we put it there because it is just like gifting out your heart strings and you can relate to that. And it's horrible, but oh, we need to find something else to do that with. So that's my, that's my number five. Okay. Well it's, it's a good start. It's a good start. The, you have to remember, I just kind of spontaneously spontaneously made this list and like the process of an hour. Why cooking breakfast? Well, that, that can't be as an excuse either your list is good or it's bad and no excuses about that.
Jesper (17m 41s):
I was cooking breakfast while I was thinking about this. And while I was scrambling eggs, I was kicking, killing a family members. What a horrible breakfast. All right. All right. All right, well, let's hear your number for them. Okay. So number four, I was actually thinking for a while, if I should put some sort of torture on this list, but while that is a pretty terrible thing to do to a character, if you imagined that you would like in a dungeon and you're being tortured, it's probably, I mean, of course, unless you die, but then it's not mean to you anymore because then you're not alive.
Jesper (18m 22s):
So if you do live, then you are going to escape at some point, or maybe you're going to get the, let free at some point. And then the torture stops. So it's like, I started thinking, can I make something that is worth something you cannot escape? Okay. Something you cannot could you, can you guess what? That could be? Autumn? What can you never, ever escape death? Well, yeah, but if you die, if you're dead, then it's not mean to the character, but because then he's dead death. Other than death, can't escape, a physical harming someone physically like losing it all. Can you not escape that?
Jesper (19m 4s):
What kind of life are you living? I cut on how bad? Sorry I hit you. I cannot help it. Jeez. Okay. So let's hear it. What is yours? Well, you cannot escape sleep. Oh, okay. So every single time this character goes to sleep, he or she will have nightmares about that. Darkest fears. Very nice. I think that's good. Nice, nice. In the, in the horrifying sense, I guess if that makes sense. I think that that's pretty damn mean.
Autumn (19m 43s):
That is very mean it's actually kind of related to my number four. Imagine that us thinking along the same lines. Yeah. That never happened before. We've never come up with something similar. So you want to hear what my slightly related number four is. Okay. All right. So mine was instead of not just sleep, but being stalked by a monster or a curse or a raving hoard of insects or some such thing that hounds you. So you can't sleep for fear of it catching you can't sleep, you can't sleep. So cause if you sleep, it's going to catch you or that even when you're awake, maybe it's whispering dark visions or ideas to you. So you just, every time you want to sit down and relax or have a meal, it's just spurring you to always constantly feel like you have to run and be an emotion.
Autumn (20m 35s):
And then not saying a nervous wreck. Totally. And I'm not saying that this might kind of have stemmed from maybe a trip. My husband and I took to Labrador where the black flies were just torturous that I was constantly wearing this netting veil. So that even when I was eating or cooking, I was like, literally eating underneath this veil. I walking and pacing and basically it nearly broke me. I'm pretty tolerable, but I was ready to get on a plane and go home. So insects are some of the worst torture you could ever do. And, but not letting someone sleep and having that constant, like the buzz, the buzz buzz, buzz, you know, they're there and they're trying to bite you.
Autumn (21m 16s):
And it's just, you just don't even, you don't even need to have someone whispering to you. Just a hoard of massive insects is enough to kill, to drive your character insane. So yeah, that's my number. Yeah. Well, true story as well related to that, you know, with a bit already ordered, but the list of the stuff don't know it, but true story as well. We were in a, in a, is in, in Finland, in the middle of the forest and there was this pond that was supposed to fill with water, but this particular summer, it was so dry that it was just very, very shallow water in the pond.
Jesper (21m 54s):
And it has been like sitting there for months, I guess, you know, just shallow water, no flow through. No, it was just like an isolated pond, right? So there was no current or anything changing the water. So we was like the best mosquito nest you can imagine in the world. And it was like at this particular summer as well, just to make it worse was like the warmest that has ever been. We had like in Celsius a, I don't know what this is in fair Fahrenheit, but we had more than 30 degrees Celsius. So, and you're in the middle of a forest. There's no wind because you in the forest. And then you're sitting inside this cabin and it's incredibly hot.
Jesper (22m 36s):
And as soon as we step outside the door and I mean, as soon as within one second, you were completely covered in mosquitoes. They came from everywhere, like right at you. And it was, it was the worst, two weeks ever of a summer vacation. We sat inside this freaking cabin for two weeks and just, it was like sitting inside an oven. We were just sitting in there cooking and we couldn't go up because it was terrible. And then in the nighttime, when you could go out a bit, you were still going to get bitten like 20 times, but at least you could go out. So we did go out a bit when it was night, but this was also the year why I got so annoyed with mosquito repellent creams and stuff like that.
Jesper (23m 19s):
I was like, how to freaking, how, how are they allowed to sell this stuff when it doesn't work? You know, I just covered myself in it and it does getting bitten. So what's the point. I don't understand. But anyway, that was a complete side note, but that's okay. It actually made me realize that, you know, you're admitting my number four was awesome. So thank you. I'm admitting you on number four is really annoying. I don't know if awesome. It's going too far. Tomato, tomato. I have my interpretation. So, all right. What's your number three.
Jesper (23m 60s):
Okay. So this is also about fear. So we, before we talked about having nightmares about the darkest fears in number four. So now in number three, with fears, I was thinking what kind of fear would be really bad to suffer from? And there was of course, loads to choose from. And some of them would really make the character unable to function in society. But, but then it came to me. Oh, are you ready for this one? I guess, what is it? What if the character is afraid of himself? Oh, geez.
Jesper (24m 38s):
That's horrible. What if you're afraid of yourself all the time?
Autumn (24m 43s):
Like you're going to metastatic, are you afraid that you're like insane or a deranged killer? If you let yourself loose or a ticking time bomb. I mean, you just afraid what you're going to do next all the time. Oh, maybe you're going to kill somebody. Maybe you're going to hurt yourself. Maybe, maybe just going to sabotage yourself. You're just afraid all the time of yourself. That's just, you cannot escape yourself. That's really so horrible. Horrible torture for a character. How could you do that? Oh, that was easy. All right. Well that one is pretty. That would be it. I'm trying to think of how it would be to write the book, like what the character arc would be, but that's not go there.
Autumn (25m 27s):
Actually. I don't know how to do that. To me, it would be a bit like schizophrenia thing to read, like all the time, every chapter, the characters, just running around circles around themselves, unless you find out like, you know, it was a fear and planted it and actually he was amazingly good or would do something wonderful. But yeah, we won't go there. So that would be a diff a dark, dark story to read. Yeah. I feel like it. Yes. Yes. All right. So my number three is to take away the talent that whatever the character is, that is really how they define themselves. So like a swordsman would lose their arm or a maid would lose her magic or using it would cause pain or like an Archer, or if his musician like with a harp would lose their fingers.
Autumn (26m 16s):
And this would be, cause both psychological pain, which is good, but also physical pain. Because, you know, you would obviously I've gone through something traumatic to have this happen to you. And yeah, I will definitely say this one stemmed out of my own right link. Cause I definitely combined it with the character. I had that with memory loss because they were held captive by centuries. So I had a character that was caught, imprisoned, lost their memory because they were tortured, lost the ability to change their, use their magic. They were changed into a magical creature and every time magic happened around them, it caused them physical pain once they were free from their horrible monstrous form. So it's, it was a fun story to write for that.
Autumn (26m 60s):
Me, the character hates me still, but you know, we also have another character in, in our joint book that has lost his memory. Yes. That's also quite fun. It is quite fun. But I mean, to me, almost losing your memory is, is almost a salvation because you don't remember the dark things, but to simply lose whatever it is. If you define yourself as this math major, you're going to be this wonderful magic user and you lost the ability to cast magic or worse. It causes you physical pain. When anyone else uses magic, you'd have to move on. That is definitely a character. Or you have to find something other way of defining yourself or you're just going to be a horrible character or become the villain.
Autumn (27m 44s):
I don't know. Yeah. I don't know. What is west, is it west to lose your short-term memory or your long-term memory? I think long-term, to me, I would not want to. Cause you have, especially so many things you would define yourself. It depends on if you had a really bad experience that you want to forget, but I think I could handle a losing my short term over my longterm. So all the time when you're doing something, you're forgetting what you're doing. How many horrible? I don't want to lose my memory. be like the next one on your list. No, it's not.
Autumn (28m 24s):
No, it's not, but I don't know if number two.
Jesper (28m 27s):
Well, I'm gonna come back with a really annoying one in number one, because number two, it might not, it might be one of my weaker ones now. I think being afraid of yourself is worse than this one. Okay. So you should have switched them. All right. Okay. Should I switch them around? I won't judge. It's fine. I know you will. That's my role here. Yeah. Okay. But I think we need some sort of fantasy curse for this one to work. So imagine that we have liked the most handsome prince or the fairest princess the world has ever seen and then comes to wicked witch and Lisa curse. Well, that sounds very cliche already, but don't judge a book by its cover.
Jesper (29m 14s):
Well, okay. But this course is different because, because of this characters, very, very appealing looks, people are naturally drawn to them, but every time this character speaks to someone, they always end up either being rude or blurting out the person's secrets to everybody else. Oh, that would be, I agree. That should have been your number three, but that would be number three, right? Yes. That would be, it would be really a fun book to write. That'd be a fun character to have I've I've had a few slightly insane characters that do similar sort of things.
Autumn (29m 57s):
Cause they're a little, just touched a little off and I there's so much fun to write though, because they just do whatever the heck they want even. But I could see in this case, maybe they don't want to, and they're trying to control this. So this is like combining with a couple of years, you know, like trying to fearing, going to these like a ball where they're going to be the Belle of it. And they're so terrified at what they're going to do to make it all go wrong and they just can't stop themselves. So in that case, good. Number two, that would just be the anxiety of it would be oh horrible. It is horrible, but I'm not sure it's the worst thing you can do. I mean, well, okay. I imagine going through life that every time you talk to somebody, you are, you're either being rude or telling their secrets.
Jesper (30m 41s):
It's pretty nasty. That doesn't really mean you will not have very many friends. No, no. It wouldn't matter how pretty you are. They would, they would not be there to be your friends. And then if you had manipulative friends, they would only tell you secrets about themselves. That would not be true. It would make you look like an idiot. So yeah, you could actually use it in like political games or whatnot. You could tell the person something and then they will go and tell it to somebody else. And if the other person doesn't know that this person is well, actually no, that would work because the other person will know that this person always splits out secrets. So they will think it's correct.
Jesper (31m 23s):
Autumn (31m 23s):
Oh, I can have fun with master plotting. I think I should win just for coming up with a good story. I deal with it. No, no. Does not have rules go. I can't change the rules in the middle of the game. Why not? Oh, I'm a referee. That's okay. Oh shoot. He would be the referee. All right. So you're ready for my number to change the rules. I disagree. That's also in the rules that I'm the one who can change the rules. That's what the rules say. I think I've got to have to renew my reevaluate, my contract here. All right. Okay. Let's have you. Number two. My number two is to imprison a character, which we did talk about, but to not tell them what happened to their friends and family or possibly worse telling them different things.
Autumn (32m 14s):
So they don't actually know which is the truth and what has happened to their friends and family. So sort of like just coming in and be like, oh, well your wife is going to be executed tomorrow or your children or slaves in the ice minds. And so this place with the psychological, so they're in prison, they can't get out. And obviously they're in prison because they either lost a battle or they failed in some way. But so you have that psychological torture as well as being restrained. And to me, this to me is nothing worse than not knowing what has happened to someone you care about too, and have no way of knowing and not have someone toying with your mind about what might be happening to them. I just think that is literally, I think the worst thing I can imagine in this life is to care deeply about someone and not knowing where they are and what's happened to them.
Autumn (33m 2s):
Just be horrifying. And just imagine if you're the God or whoever it is that is telling the soup, how mean do you have to be to be able to do that to somebody that's just making up excuses, making up these stories about, oh yes, no, but this is, oh, did I tell you that? I actually meant this and oh, just the gut wrenching. This of it. Eventually, no matter how heroic this character was, I think that would just wear, wear them down, wear down their hope bit by bit and losing that hope and just being devastated. I think that's about, and that's my number two, but that's about the worst thing I can imagine ever doing to a character. I have to say.
Jesper (33m 41s):
Hmm. Okay. So you should have put it in. Number one. No, I have something else for number one. You just said it was the worst. I don't, but I have something else for number one. Oh my God. Well, okay. I have the absolutely best one for number one. All right, let's hear it. This one is going to bring me the victory and you'll have to admit it once you hear this one. Well, I will only admit it if it is true. And once I hear it, it is true. So let me start out by asking you this. Okay. What is like the worst song you can think of?
Jesper (34m 28s):
Oh, it's a small world after all. Okay. Well, so keep that in mind. All right. And I'm not saying that this one is going to be the most annoying song ever, but it's probably a bit close to it, but okay. Let me just play you a very short song. Clip to get you in the right. Have a sound clip. Okay.
Audio clip (34m 51s):
I've been married long time ago. Where did you come from? Where did you go? When did you come from? good
Autumn (35m 8s):
Stuff. Okay. So imagine you have something like that playing in your head constantly like forever. You can never stop it. It just goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on forever. That would be, imagine that. Well, considering I have some bad tinnitus, ha I do. I have that all the time. It's horrible, but not cutting my jaw or something like a loop forever. I almost think cotton. I chose better than tonight. I remember it. There was, it was actually from a, a movie I'll assume it's based on a novel.
Autumn (35m 48s):
Cause all good movies are based on novels, but it was about a Russian astronaut or it was there talking about it. And there was this moment where they're saying, you know, the astronaut gets up there and they're up there for like in the space capsule. Can't move around. It's one of the first space flights. And all as I hear, like every few seconds is a bang and you have that for weeks on end and it's starting to drive this guy crazy and he can't go anywhere and you can't escape it. And the only way he could preserve a sanity was to embrace it and be like, every time I hear it, it means I'm still alive. It means the mission is still going on.
Autumn (36m 28s):
So I don't know. You would have to just like with my tonight, as you become, it becomes as mental thing where at times you can actually block it out because it is just going on and on. I think it's actually worst if it changes because whenever things change, then you notice it again. So if you have just like this weird random loop of sounds and gunfire, oh my God. I hate gunfire. So is all the other weird sounds that happen? I think that might even be worse than just the same song on repetition though. I have to admit it's a small world after all for 24 hours straight might be enough to make me go insane. That might do it. Yeah. That's pretty bad. It is pretty bad. I will say that.
Autumn (37m 9s):
That would definitely be fingernails on a chalkboard, which would be one of the sounds you could use to drive someone and say just on a loop, just don't know. Oh, that's just so total loop. So is it like if you definitely make yourself go deaf, would you still hear it? Yeah. Yeah. It's in your head. You hear it all the time. Even when you sleep, it's going on when you're trying to sleep you're mean I don't like that one. Yeah. You want to hear my number one? Yeah, I know. It's the list of the worst things you could do it over character. Yeah. So you know, my number one that is even worse than being tortured and not knowing what has happened to your loved ones.
Autumn (37m 54s):
Okay. What's that it is to not write the character story. I think that is the worst thing you can do to a character is to have this voice in your head that says, you know, right. We write the story, make me this fantastic character and you just don't do it. I just think that's horrible. Yeah. Okay. That's Metta. I feel like I like you're bending rules, but I understand what you're saying. The, I think I have just, I have elevated above the rules to a worst of more, a different plane of worseness.
Jesper (38m 38s):
Okay. You are so much inventing your own rules as you go. You think I play by anyone else's rules other than the ones I make up spontaneously? No, no, I get it. But this is the same thing. I sometimes say to my colleagues that it w when, if we have like a work meeting or something, it would be so much easier. If I can bring my referee yellow and red cards into the session, and then you get a yellow card for that goodbye. It will be somewhat each year. Well, you do you really want to kick me off the podcast.
Autumn (39m 19s):
Now think about that. The yellow card is just a sin bin, so it's just, you just get a timeout. I can do a timeout. You would have to use a lot of timeouts for me, for sure. I like my number one. I think it is the worst thing you could do is you have to tell your character story. If you have a character saying, write me, you need to do that. You need to go, right? Yeah. I still think mines is worse. The infinite loop of music. I still think it would be worse if it's changing. Sounds but sound torture is pretty.
Jesper (40m 1s):
It's used. It's pretty horrifying. Yeah. Yeah. So, okay. Do we need people to tell us who won here? I feel like our one for, for sure. This one you put on some really good ones I have to say, but I'm going to leave it up to the listeners so they should tell us what just won't concede will. No, I will not. And they should just refuse to concede. I do. They have to let me know if they think I broke the rules or if I just simply, you know, made a better set of rules. I'm just afraid that they're going to say yes. Oh, well, let's see. I think I have one, a lot of them. So maybe I will let you have this one because you did do the work while not making it just feels like a pity victory.
Jesper (40m 45s):
That's I don't want a pity victory that you're going to have to let the listeners decide. That's the only thing to do. Hmm. Okay. Well, dear listeners let us know in the comments who won this stuff. And if you feel like writing the autumn one, then just let us know if we don't get any comments. It's because I won. And if we do get comments, then it's also because I won that's that's cheating. I think you're making up the, what do you mean? I'm I'm just, well, okay. It's not a rule. It's just a recommendation. I'm just recommending people not to type if you wrote, if they think you won, I see how it is.
Jesper (41m 30s):
Well, I'm at least I'm, I'm at least an honest enough person not to create personas to go in and leave comments to say that I won. I'll be nice though. I do. I have a wrap-up for this wedding. Cause I was thinking, why in the world are we doing this for the podcast? But then I realized in general making characters suffer should do at least one of two. If not both of these, they should advance your plot or they should deepen or reveal something about your character. So this is in a way an inspiration list of if you're really easy on your characters or you feel like you're plotting or your character arcs, aren't going anywhere.
Autumn (42m 6s):
Review this list of 10 traits and see what you can do to help your characters. Go suffer a little bit and grow the point is growing and overcoming these fears.
Jesper (42m 20s):
Okay, indeed. So next Monday we are back to some more serious topics. When we discuss some tools for authors, namely book sales tracker.
Narrator (42m 31s):
If you like, what you just heard, there's a few things you can do to support the Am Writing Fantasy podcast. Please tell a fellow author about the show and visit us at aApple podcast and leave a rating and review. You can also join Autumn and Jesper on patreon.com/amwritingfantasy. For as little as a dollar a month, you'll get awesome rewards and keep the Am Writing Fantasy podcast going. Stay safe out there and see you next Monday.