Monday, September 24, 2012

Breaking from the norm

I'm breaking from my traditional Muse Avatar fare this week to highlight an actor that inspires me far more than even the hotness that is Kiefer Sutherland, Alexander Skarsgard or Adam Levine.

For the past few weeks, hubs and I have been obsessed with Breaking Bad, in my opinion, one of the most well-written drama series on TV today. There's a number of reasons I've dubbed the show brilliant, but a lot of it has to do with the characters - and the amazing cast members who have brought those characters to life.

I've featured Aaron Paul on my blog before, and in addition to being pretty darned cute, he absolutely deserves last night's Emmy win in the outstanding supporting actor category. He is outstanding.

But I'm most enthralled with - in awe of, inspired by - Bryan Cranston. No doubt his performance as the meek-chemistry-teacher-gone-major-bad-dude Walter White is fuelled by the complex character created by the show's mastermind, Vince Gilligan, but Cranston's portrayal is mind boggling.

And a blatant reminder of the importance of characterization.

Walter White is an extraordinary character - sympathetic, flawed, driven, even desperate. And the potential for growth? Staggering. Perhaps one of the greatest examples of an over-the-top yet somehow believable character arc. I'm invested - 100%.

Long after I (reluctantly) turn off the DVD player, I think about Walt - about the decisions he's made, and most importantly, the motivation behind them.

As I push through the last 10,000 words of HEARTLESS, I've been thinking a lot about character motivations. I've got a lot - too many - projects on the go, but there is no other character I know better, or love writing more, than Jagger Valentine. And yet, with this first book in the series, I have only started scratching the surface of what drives her.

I had a tough weekend, and a crappy start to the week to boot. The next few days don't look much better. But if I'm going to cross the finish line of this book, I need to channel my inner Jagger - and perhaps some Walter White - and push emotion to the side. I need to do whatever I must to get the book done. Without breaking bad, of course.

I can't think of a more inspirational muse avatar for the week than the brilliant Bryan Cranston.

- Dawn

PS - Those last 10,000 words? Yeah, they're a bitch. Tomorrow I'll be talking about my strategy for typing "the end" (sooner rather than later) on the Indie Elite blog. Please...come hang out, laugh at my psychosis, or offer some block-busting tips. Pretty, please?

The Book In My Bag Today: Carnival of Souls, Melissa Marr

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