Writing Uncomfortable Characters – Exploding Semen Man

Horror story Merles story

Okay, so this is another interesting one for you. I think the image says it all. This post contains themes of an adult nature

Last time I talked about writing a paedophile character and the difficulties I had with it. This time it’s a character, or rather a set of characters that I’ve had floating around for a while. I had a phase of wanting to write something funny; something that would make the reader laugh; something far away from the horror I normally write.

So I have a friend (hooray for me) who shares my sense of humour and we were eating out at a pub one day, talking about a story idea. I was explaining that I would really like to write a super hero story. But not just any story; I wanted to write something that had never been written before. Perhaps I needed a hero with a unique superpower, although what that could be was difficult to fathom.

We’ve already got super strength; flying; invisibility; telekinesis; elasticity; telepathy, and so on, so it didn’t leave much to work with. So this friend of mine suggested a particular power that I have never come across before. The clue is in the image above. Now if I told you that this friend of mine (female) finds it hilarious to stand up in the middle of the pub and exclaim ‘why won’t you tell me you love me?’ you will get an idea of her sense of humour, and we came up with some of the most outrageous superpowers we could imagine. We laughed. A lot. Very puerile, yes, but funny.

So to cut a long story short, the character has explosive semen. How he deploys this power is unclear at the moment, although I envision him only being able to use it every so often. So, armed with this idea, I drove home and began writing my alternative super hero. I started off writing with the intentions of continuing the humour that we had felt earlier in the day, but as I began writing, although the story had some elements of humour, it was, at its core, a work of horror (perhaps that’s all I can write?).

There are going to be SPOILERS coming up, so if you don’t want to know the origins of this particular super hero, you should read it above first, before reading on.

Now we’ve got that sorted…What I ended up writing was the origin of this particular super power, well at least the moment that our hero, Merle, discovers his unfortunate ability. His one-time girlfriend is the unfortunate recipient of this amazing power which is where the story starts, with Merle realising what has happened, but luckily realising he has another friend with a similarly unique power – the ability to go back in time, but only when she farts – who might be able to rectify the situation.

This section of the story is basically about Merle trying to explain what has happened to this friend , who happens to be an eight year old girl, and is told to her in a totally age-appropriate way. That bit I have no problem with. Where I’m struggling, is where to go with this character now. I had imagined him to be part of a band of heroes with strange powers (one friend can read minds, but only as long as he has licked your face, another that can vomit acidic puke), but I was thinking about how he would deploy his power and what for.

How about busting a lock off a door? Holding off a group of enemy agents? Laying down suppressing fire for his comrades? But to do that, he would have to, well, masturbate. I suppose he could have a jar full of his semen, but that wouldn’t be nearly as funny.

He needs to run around, with his cock out, firing off a load at the bad guys.

I really like this character, well at least his origin story that you can read above, so part of me wants to push on and write him into something, but another part of me wants to file him away somewhere and never bring him back out, as a childish bit of stupidity. I could keep his story hidden away and add to it only on the days when I am finding the words hard to come by on other stories (a good tip for when you have writer’s block – keep something hidden away that only you will ever see, which will allow you to turn off that internal editor and just write)

My question to you: is this particular character just too much? Is there a line of bad taste here? Is it just too stupid? What if my mum reads it?

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