Emilya Naymark said...
Mobsters period? As in no mobsters ever?I had a vision of Emilya looking at her manuscript replete with three dimensional, interesting criminals who just happened to belong to the mob, and a solitary tear trickling down her cheek.
Of course, this amused me to no end because, as you know, tormenting writers and crushing hopes and dreams is my favorite part of the job.
And of course, my original post was a bit terse. Here's a more nuanced take on "no mobsters."
Mobsters can be something other than Don Corleone or Tony Soprano.
I'd love to see a librarian mob, with librarian street toughs enforcing reading-level-quiet, and godhelp you if you don't pay your fines.
Or simply mobsters that don't wear velour track suits, carry brass knuckles and have a Brooklyn accent that would heat up cold pizza.
To create an interesting mob person (ladies or gents!) think about why your character is IN the mob. What does being in the mob do for them, what do they get out of it? What do they have to sacrifice to stay in the mob. Do they want to be OUT of the mob, but can't figure out how to withdraw gracefully (ie alive!)
In other words, like with every character, you're going to know a lot more than your reader, because you're going to know why they are the way they are.
Mobsters and all those other tired old stock characters are all too often used when the writer needs to move the plot forward, and they don't invest time in understanding them.
A hacker is needed, presto here's the hacker from Central Casting.
So, mobsters, maybe. If you do it right. But that's true of darn near everything. Do it right, and I'll read to the end.
Now, that is a offer you can't refuse.