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About the Writer:

Bennet Pomerantz is a media review columnist in 175 newspapers with his weekly column AUDIOWORLD. His fiction and reviews have appeared in the pages of Affaire De Coeur, Gateways, Mystery Scene, Power Star, The Hot Corner, Washington Entertainment Magazine, and many others. He is also known for his review appearances on the MCN Forum. View his web site at Audioworld.


A Piece of My Mind

"There were so many warning signs in my past. I am hoping that by reflecting on and writing about my life, some of it very painful, I can help stop others from getting into the same kind of trouble . . . I did these stupid things, and I'm here to tell you, this is what you should watch out for" --Amy Fisher from her forthcoming book, "If I Knew Then . . . "

We all have secrets in our lives. Secret of any amount help makes up a person's makeup, as do fears, hopes, dreams, and goals.

My past has a deep secret, a painful secret that I am open with, to most who know me. . . I am an insulin dependant Diabetic. To most people, being Diabetic would seem nothing to them. However to those I share it with, have a deeper understanding of why I do things.

Diabetes does not make the man or woman, does it? Well It does, when you think about it! Its life changing prospects for those who have that disease and their family and friends. Also more Americans are becoming diabetic, so it raises many issues regarding our culture. It also raises many thoughts, since it is one of the biggest killers of many . . . you don't die of Diabetes, you die of complications from it. In addition, it is a great device of any character.

I am not stating that you need to make all your characters Diabetic. However, if they were . . . he or she needs to monitor their sugar daily, eat at least three times a day, Avoid sweets and alcohol, inject their insulin or take their pills . . . simple paragons for a diabetic. Used in the writer's hands, these simple facts coupled within a literary creation's make up makes for some bold characters in your work . . . plus making them a little eccentric doesn't hurt!

After all is said and done, I am NOT suggesting all your characters be Diabetic . . . Not Hardly! I do suggest give them a chink in the human armor. It gives them amazing prototypes to play with, a dynamic that others persons may not have. Here are a few examples of MY chink in the armor theory with a few characters already out there that you can read and learn about.

George C Chesbro's character Mongo is an Asian, ex-acrobotic circus Dwarf with a P.h.D. who solves mysteries. You don't see many of those hanging around Kmart these days.

Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe is an over weight fat man (accounts go from a quarter to a half a ton) who solves crimes, eats gourmet foods & tends his prize winning orchids on top of his New York Brownstone which he rarely leaves. (I DO know the term "Overweight fat man" is not a politically correct team but Stout himself uses those words to describe Wolfe . . . SO NO NASTY EMAILS about this point!) He always argues with his Boswell and right hand, live in assistant, Archie Goodwin who does his leg work. Archie, who is a poor man, New Yorker-ish Watson to Wolfe's Holmes, is always in the middle of the thick of things regarding Wolfe's cases.

Captain James T. Kirk (of Classic Star Trek fame) is a micro-managing space jockey who makes up his own rules for himself and his crew (For die hard Trek Fans, did he ever follow the Prime Directive anytime?) He supposedly slept with all the beautiful women in the cosmos (I bet even that green Orion slave girl). One of his ideals is always never wanting to lose at all costs, and hardly faced death well. (I am gonna get many pieces of hate fan mail from the Trek Fans on this one!).

Fans of the Melody Ravert novel, Shadow of Death, know the chinks in her main character, Carla Summers, armor. She is a born again Christian who is also a sharp, legal eagle attorney. However her biggest flaw is she is very paranoid of men. She was hurt often.

My favorite's ultimate chink in the armor-which makes me ponder. Why don't Columbo, MacGuyer, The Prisoner (number 6), Dr. Who (I know Who fans would say his first name is THE DOCTOR, Right?) and Spenser have first names? If anyone has a good answer, I would really like to know!

These are a few of many ideas for a chink in your character's armor. This give your work a heavy body . . . My examples from books, tv and movies are easy to locate, so you can see what I mean.

Now, for something completely different (I always wanted to say that!), I am working on a future column titled "When Can you consider yourself a writer" and I want your feedback on this subject. E-mail me your comments, anecdotes, life experience, etc. (with the word WRITER in the subject line of your E-mail) to [email protected] . . . Lets be upfront, I will not use all the feedback that I receive. However, those who do write me and I do use, will be credited by name in the column . . . PLEASE NO ATTACHMENTS!

While I am on the subject, you can also send me ideas and those important questions you want me to address (anything from scheduling work time, networking, to good music to listen to when you are writing) in future columns with the word WRITER in the subject line of your E-mail. I will try to address them. Do remember, this is your chance to ask, don't miss it!

Well 'til next we meet, keep your head level and reach for the stars!

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