Many people say the media gave us our current President.
In fact, the media will probably give us our next President, whether it is the same person, or another; it will likely be someone the media (read major news channels) decides upon, and supports.
The same thing can, and should, be applied in writing. Remember, you are the writer, and your job is to influence the reader in a way that helps them understand your characters. Good, bad or ugly, you want the reader to see that in a character.
All that stuff you hear writers say like “I let my characters write the story” – that’s bullshit.
Writers create characters for the story. Or, the characters that writers create, guide the story.
If a character doesn’t work in a particular story, or grows in another direction, the story becomes different – a new story. If one insists on keeping the same story, then the characters must change.
Here’s an example, almost a how-to from different news sources, on how a story or character is influenced by perspective.
Let me just say this right up front: Rayon McIntosh, you’re my new hero!
But, some folks didn’t (and still don’t) see it that way.
Some of the first reports of this incident came from NBC New York. Here’s the link:
NBC New York: McDonald's Beating Caught on Tape
The owner of the store, Carmen Paulino, immediately released a statement expressing how deeply sorry she was for the incident, and that Rayon McIntosh was immediately fired.
It wasn’t until later, when a more complete video went viral on youtube, link shown here:
McDonald's Cashier Beats Customers (Funny, this video has been deemed "age restrictive" by youtube, maybe because of the brutal nature of the beatings. You may have to sign in or create an account to view this video)
On a side note (having nothing to do with anything) I think it’s important to note that all of his fellow employees basically stood around and watched as these two unruly customers came across the counter, hell-bent on killing the poor cashier. It was only after he found a weapon and was effectively defending himself, that his fellow workers attempted to stop the insanity.
I can’t help but wonder what would happen if he did not defend himself. Would his “friends” have continued to stand around with their worthless thumbs up their asses while these two customers beat the living dog snot out of the employee? Oh, and one other thing, it was later discovered that this employee was simply following McDonald’s policy of checking the large bill for authenticity. I cannot find any news showing a retraction of the store owner’s previous statements.