I am reading M.T. Anderson’s Burger Wuss and marveling at how much he punishes his protagonist by putting him in humiliatingly embarrassing situations and realizing that I don’t do this enough to my own fictional characters.
Typically, I defend myself from embarrassment by beating people to the punch, telling them all sorts of shitty things about myself so that I can at least have a bit of control over the message. But true embarrassment isn’t about that kind of vanity-based self-disclosure. True embarrassment comes when something about you is revealed without you intending it be revealed. I HATE THAT.
Which is probably why I don’t make my characters endure it.
Which is probably why I should.