Thursday, April 21, 2011

R is for Revancha

And for Rilo Kiley

Revancha is Revenge in spanish and I don't know how to write about revenge. In fact, when I think about the word seriously, when I think about a time when I wanted to take revenge, with my whole soul and heart, I think about cards.

I only know how to play one card game (war not included) and that's Canasta. In the 1950's Canasta, along with lots of Latin and South American things, became popular. This american version is pale in comparison to what I think of as the true form - Uruguayan cut-throat Canasta.

When I'd lose as a kid to my more experienced parents - and I'd almost always lose - the first word out of my mouth after URRRRGH! was REVANCHA! Let's play the revancha. It's sort of like saying 'let's have a re-match' but what I'm literally saying is 'I want to revenge myself on you as you have destroyed my honor and I will have my pound of card-like flesh' Or something close to that, it's kinda lost in the translation.

So while I'm revising my first draft, I'm outlining the sequel, BookBegin, because through this arduous process I've learned that outlines can be your friend. I've quickly realized that I will need to channel revenge. It's going to be a central theme. The question is, having not felt it much (does Canasta even count?), how do I get authentic "revenge is a dish best served cold"* into my story?

How do you get feelings that are abhorrent or alien to you into the story?

*Another great spanish saying. What's with us and revenge, anyway?


  1. When writing a Revancha scene, imagine the worst possible thing someone could say or do to you in that situation and then decide whether you should tone it back or not. I'm so glad I found your blog! I'm stopping by from the A to Z challenge and I look forward to reading more from you.

  2. "'I want to revenge myself on you as you have destroyed my honor and I will have my pound of card-like flesh' Or something close to that..."


    You forget, Magpie, they aren't your feelings. Regardless of what you have or have not felt, it is your character. Go to any newspaper, and find a story about someone who does something horrible. You will find vengence of some kind. And then channel what they must have felt to do what they did.
    Then just write.

  3. Hi sylvia, thanks for visiting, and for the advice. This challenge is so great for finding new blogs isn't it?

    Lyra: It's a good, 'true dat' point you make. I'll definitely do research in real news stories. I think my problem stems from the fact that I'm writing in the first person and I keep thinking that the emotion is tame. My writing group doesn't think so, but I feel a bit 'boxed' in with the first person narrative. There are definitely blessings and curses! Thanks for the advice!


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