clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Friday, March 28, 2014

Crazy Guy

At left, the Northern Michigan Asylum for the Insane [ Photo courtesy Patricia Drury as uploaded by Gary Dee on Wikicommons].

Somethings, things just happen.

I love logical plots that fit together like little puzzle pieces all nice and tight. Maybe they're like Lego blocks: versatile and yet orderly.

In my life, little works that way. Things just happen. I have friends who help things happen. They're mostly insane. They do things on whim and there words are often out of phase with the activities and responsibilities of the day. In short, they're the cumulative crazy guy.


I speak tonight of the crazy guy in your life. That character you know around whom things happen. He (or she) is like a handful of possibility grease and no matter how odd, things just pop into the world of probability around them.

They make engineers nervous.

In chemistry, a catalyst is a special item which enable substances to transform from one thing to another ( or to transform at a faster rate).

Characters can be catalysts of a sort, too.

In my case, crazy guy is the fellow whose presence allow all the various elements of conflict and capability to transform into the salient plot outcomes.

Let me put that another way:

Crazy guy is that fellow who bring together the forger, the safe cracker, the acrobat, and the money-man to pull the big museum robbery without anyone knowing Mona has gone walkabout.

Now, do you have a nice story marching down the isle to the inevitable conclusion of the wedding one spring afternoon? Why not let crazy guy be involved in getting the groom to the chapel. Better story - right?

Hackneyed - sure. Whole franchises have been built upon crazy guy.

I'm suggesting that crazy guy can take many forms. He can wear any guise you like. However, his function is pure utility with respect to anchoring plot twists for a reader. Everybody knows a crazy guy.

Everybody understands the archetype.

Now, I've got to go write before tying a pony to the tree outside crazy guy's house in my life. His daughter will love it.

Random pony appearance: perfect plot twist for crazy guy. Wait, that means I'm the crazy guy in this story.

Who is crazy guy in your story and is it better if you add one?

I think the voltage is a little high on my crazy-o-matic helmet tonight. I better go adjust it and write something while I am at it.

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