In my last blog post I talked about Patterns of Power and how those patterns can be seen in Eric Byrne’s Transactional Analysis and in the interactions while characters are emotionally operating from the three different positions of: Parent, Adult and Child.
James Redfield in his Celestine Prophecy incorporated Control Dramas for his protagonist that resemble the games Eric Byrne speaks of in Transactional Analysis. In his quote, Redfield says that his main character was able to survive by successfully resisting the games.
This got me wondering about Control Dramas and I’ve taken the notion of Patterns Of Power one step further to explore some of the “Games” I incorporated for my main character, Tina Munroe in Vendetta: A Deadly Win.
“I’m Only Doing This For You, Or For Your Benefit.” Even though this game can be played in order for the gamer to blame someone else for his actions, in my book I have Hutch telling Tina that the money is missing because he used it to help a woman.
This does not sit right with Tina because she knows Hutch to be too selfish to be spending money on someone else. The next game rings true as Hutch continues on his merry game playing way.
“See What You Made Me Do.” Is a very common game played by people in and out of fiction. Hutch plays this game with just about every woman he meets. This is a position of someone who refuses to take responsibility and this attitude speaks volumes about that person’s character.
“Rescue Me”. This game is played by Stella, the boss’s wife. Tina observes how protective her boss is of her and senses that Stella does not need a rescuer, at all. As long as Bernie feels he is her protector she has an easy time of manipulating him. Bernie does not believe Tina that his wife is really very manipulative and dangerous. He sees Stella as needing his protection and help. Stella is able to fool him because he wants to feel useful and important to his younger, attractive wife.
This game essentially blinds Bernie to Stella’s dark side and opens him up for the next step in the game which puts his life in jeopardy.
“Let’s You And Him Fight.” This is a love triangle and Stella sets things up beautifully. The only problem is that the wrong man winds up getting killed. (I don’t want to give away too much of the story, so I won’t say what happens.)
What Control Dramas have you incorporated in your novels and writings? What Control Dramas have you noticed in other’s writing, or in your own life?
The next post will deal with the Pay Offs these dramas give participants.
Nancy A. Niles is the author of Vendetta: A Deadly Win, a contributor to the book on writing entitled Novel Writing: Tips and Techniques and a co-author on the book Rubicon Ranch: Riley’s Story all three published by Second Wind Publishing Company.
In Janet Burroway’s book Writing Fiction, she talks about Patterns Of Power in writing and how both the protagonist and antagonist should be matched in order to keep the reader guessing as to the outcome of the struggle between the two.
She cites the different ways in which power can be shown: brute, physical strength, charm, knowledge, moral power, wealth, rank, etc. Usually the characters hold many forms of power in their own personal arsenals and that makes for a very suspenseful and complex play between the competing forces.
This got me thinking about Eric Byrne and Transactional Analysis which first hit the best seller lists in the late sixties and early seventies. I found his concept of Parent, Adult, Child to be fascinating and very true to life and the ways in which people wield power over others.
What I found most amusing and have seen in fiction stories is how when one person begins acting like a parent the other will most likely slip into their ‘child’ mode and either rebel like a kid, or become emotional like a small child. I’ve seen an example of this when a main character visits a teacher she had when she was in second grade, and even though the main character is an adult she suddenly feels as though she is that little kid again, feeling shy or tongue tied.
I believe in Transactional Analysis and the three states of Parent, Adult and Child. The more I think about this, the more ideas I get about dialogue between characters and characterization.
Have you noticed this power play in your daily life, or in fiction? How would you script a play between someone who is acting like a parent confronting someone who chooses to act the child, or the adult role? Or two adults playing the child, or …? You get the point.
Nancy A. Niles is the author of Vendetta: A Deadly Win, a contributor to the book on writing entitled Novel Writing Tips and Techniques From Authors of Second Wind Publishing and a co-author on the book Rubicon Ranch: Riley’s Story all three published by Second Wind Publishing Company.
Continuing with how my upcoming suspense thriller Staccato came to be, I thought I would discuss how important the music element was to the overall aspect of the novel.
Countless hours were spent selecting the piano pieces featured in Staccato. It was my full intent to implement the ideal classical musical compositions that would convey the mood of each scene where music was indicated. The highly-charged scenes were ideal for crashing concertos, whereas the scenes of reflection feature soothing sonatas. Each and every piece was selected to emphasize the mood, setting and characters’ feelings as this psychological suspense thriller progresses.
In writing the novel, the music became a motivating factor as well as a subplot—as if composing a complicated piece of music…with words.
Because of this, I’ve considered adding a CD tie-in to the novel which features the classical music I have showcased so that readers have the full impression of what I have presented to them.
Would this be an endeavor worth pursuing? I would be very interested to know what you think about this idea.
Deborah J Ledford is the author of the debut suspense thriller novel Staccato, scheduled for release by Second Wind Publishing, September 15, 2009.