There’s nothing more entertaining – or potentially embarrassing – than being around someone who has no filters.
There’s no façade, no pretense. They just tell it like it is and don’t really consider the impact of their words on others. And if you can call it “charming,” they don’t even know they’re doing it. It just comes naturally.
I have a few friends and family members who are like that. And when they’re rolling, there’s no one I’d rather have a conversation with.
I love to write characters who are unfiltered. They’re so much fun because you never know what’s going to come out of their mouths. They’re unpredictable. They don’t follow any mold.
I try to include at least one unfiltered character in every story I write. Tom, the flirtatious golf pro in Somebody Killed the Cart Girl, has a never-ending supply of tasteless jokes and seems unaware that no one is laughing.
Laura, the football-hating wife in Football Blues, lets loose at a football party after she’s had too much to drink. In Birds of Prey, the hawkish older sister is unrelenting in her insensitivity to her brother’s debilitating bird phobia.
Readers probably wouldn’t be too surprised if half the characters who are snowbound together in Murder in Vail became victims of the killer for no other reason than to shut them up.
And, of course, children are always unfiltered, which makes them such a joy to write. Lily, the 11-year-old manic matchmaker in Airport Christmas, thinks nothing of dragging single adults together and unwittingly embarrassing them, and her older brother Jack shamelessly schmoozes grown-ups to get what he needs to make their three-day layover enjoyable.
Poor Molly has to deal with her overbearing boss from hell in the Holiday House Sitter, and in The Hitchhiker on Christmas Eve, there’s nothing quite as frenetic as a scorned woman in the midst of an anxiety attack.
So, if you’re looking for an unpredictable reading experience with characters who say unexpected and often inappropriate things, I invite you to give one of my stories a try.