Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The contradiction of humanity

I imagine by now a good number of you have received your stimulus payments. I have been thinking about these and I have some thoughts to share on them.

"I thought this was a writing/marketing blog!!" You are likely saying.

Stick with me. One thing writing and marketing have in common is the need to study human behavior and that is what I'm going to share with you now.

In the months leading up to the release of checks I heard many people saying "These won't help the economy. People are going to use them on fuel." I heard commentators reporting on the changing verbage of the President, from talking of stimulus to talking about relief from the pump sticker shock. I also heard news reports citing statistics saying that the majority of people would be using their rebates for paying bills or paying down debts.

I truly never believed it.

I know one thing about humans. [Yes, I am one but for the time being I'm trying to leave my humanity behind in order to study them.] Many of them are well intentioned but they can't resist a bargain. No doubt many people looked around them a month or two ago and said "There is no way I'm going to spend this on junk. I'm going to get out of the situation I'm in." But once the $1,200 check was in their hands....it was a different story. Suddenly they wanted to do "just a little splurge." Until the sales started attacking their TV!! Oh my the REBATE deals! Even our local grocery stores have deals. When you buy $300-$600 or $1,200 in gift cards you get an additional 10% of the purchase price FREE. So a $300 gift card is actually valued at $330. They call it a 10% return on your rebate!

I am willing to bet that a good number of people will end up spending most of their rebate on "Fun" stuff.

Now, how does this apply to your writing?? Encorporate this kind of behavior in to your own characters as you write! They may have the best of intentions to get themselves out of a bad situation but first they want to do "just one thing." A woman may decide to go say goodbye to that no-good boyfriend, and she ends up walking in on a murder. Maybe they have some money that they really want to give to a family in need, but keep putting it off. Then they find out that the family has lost everything and is moving away to live with family.

Add these ideas of plans contradiction reality [or even logic]. It will make your characters more real and your stories much more interesting.

I have to go, I have outlining to do!

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter

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