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The Lounge: Chat. Relax. Unwind. > Do you characters smoke?

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message 1: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15761 comments And if affirmative, what is it: Marlboro light, electronic cig, weed, crack, something else?


message 2: by Alexander (new)

Alexander Engel-Hodgkinson (nexus_engel) | 52 comments So far, my characters (varied from book to book, mostly) have smoked weed, nameless cigarettes, electronic AND steam cigarettes, pipes, and fictional drugs in one or two cases.

Damian Warkowski (main protagonist of my Dark-Boy/Cobalt Rogue series--which is currently undergoing a name change--shown in my profile picture) generally smokes cigarettes and weed whenever it's there. He gets addicted to a hallucinogenic aggression-enhancer called Spiral Suicide (consumed through a cigarette-looking filter) after the grunts of a major villain attempt to assassinate him with an overdose of multiple drugs at once (which proved to be their downfall, as the adrenaline enhancer was the only thing that kept him alive long enough to get back at them and receive a life-saving treatment). Since then, he uses Spiral Suicide sparingly when he's got no other option and sustains serious injuries in combat, but can never fully kick the stuff. To get a better idea of how this drug influences his performance... have you ever seen the end of Scarface? Picture that, but longer, and even more feral. Yeah, it's kind of insane.

On top of that, several teenage characters smoke weed, along with a few gangsters. A lot of soldiers smoke cigarettes. Jonathon Silverstein, a vampiric terrorist whose only sparkling qualities are his shiny pistols, smokes cigarettes as an alternative to blood-sucking.

(Sorry for the long explanation there).

Anyway, in I Keep My True Love in the Basement/REMIX, a few characters smoke. Detective Jason Orion smokes cigarettes. A minor character in the rebel's news network smokes a steam cigarette in every scene he's in.

Three or four characters in The Tea Party Affair smoke cigarettes.

Generally, I've limited the cigarette and weed smoking to cynical and anti-authority characters. I didn't even do it on purpose, but by this point, it seems to be a repeated trope of mine.


message 3: by Ian (new)

Ian Bott (iansbott) | 214 comments So spooky, this question. Up until recently, no, but only last week in my current WIP, a far-future sci-fi, I started to weave in the shared use of a hookah as a (largely aristocratic) social ritual.


message 4: by Tim (new)

Tim Rees | 732 comments Depends on the character and period. If they pick up a cigarette or spliff when I'm watching the scene in my minds eye, then it's obvious that they smoke. It is getting rarer that characters smoke, but that's reflective of society today.

If I was writing a piece set in the time of, let's say 30 years ago, then nearly every character would smoke - even teenagers! :D


message 5: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2281 comments Strange question because I never thought about it. I don't smoke, so I never think to write characters that do. Finding the question now, it occurs to me that characters in my current WIP would likely smoke something...


message 6: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11519 comments In my case, no. I don't smoke, and my novels are set in the future, so I guess I might be trying to suggest the habit will have disappeared by then. However, I also don't add a lot of details that are irrelevant to the plot or to the nature of the character, and my descriptions are deliberately minimalist.


message 7: by Annie (last edited Jul 20, 2016 04:13PM) (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) I've kissed one smoker in my entire life and will never repeat that oh-so-delicious experience, sooo...

If I made my male main smoke, I reckon he wouldn't get any action LOL Yeah, it would make for a reeeeeally terrible romance!

Hugs,
Ann

EDIT: Oops. That's just cigarettes. Everyone (except me haha) smoked weed in Uni *shrugs*


Matthew Culberson I have smoked, although I am not a smoker and haven't touched a cig for years now. The prologue of my book actually starts with a character lamenting the difference between e cigs and regular cigarettes, because in the not so distant future e cigs will be all that will be allowed. NOT! We are fiction writers after all.

By the way, I agree with you about the breath, but I do remember the quick relaxing buzz of a drag pretty vividly. Enough to write about it at least.


message 9: by Denise (new)

Denise Baer | 593 comments So far, I haven't written a smoking character in my novels. It could be because of my 8-year smoke free life after a 26-year smoking life. Subconsciously, maybe I think it's best they stay away from the sticks. :D


message 10: by M.L. (new)

M.L. A pipe only - not lit - and the nurse makes it disappear. This is magic. And whiskey-flavored, aged in oak tobacco is sent along with it - back to the owner. A counter act - also by magic! :-)


message 11: by Yelena (new)

Yelena Lugin (ylugin) | 35 comments Nope none of mine do.
But I don't care if I'm reading about a character that smokes. Though to me it's not a sexy thing that sometimes an author may try and make it out to be.


message 12: by M.L. (new)

M.L. Another one! :-) First paragraph:

Rolling his own cigarette with dried and trimmed cornhusk as wrapper. It's supposed to be the harshest way to smoke and shows poverty.


message 13: by M.L. (new)

M.L. Oh, and a brief scene with a big stinky cigar - but it got edited out for now. :-)


message 14: by J.D. (new)

J.D. Cunegan (jdcunegan) | 62 comments It's funny... back when I was a smoker, I would write several characters lighting up. But now that I'm no longer a smoker, neither are any of my characters. It wasn't even a conscious decision; it just... happened.

Now, if I'm writing fanfic involving characters who are known to be smokers (like, say, Spike from Buffy), then I'll write that.


message 15: by M.L. (new)

M.L. It is funny, I don't smoke either and I think that's why it stands out when I smell smoke.

It's part of using the 5 senses in writing and keeping with the character. More so than smoke, or as bad, is the smell of sweet, heavy perfume. That comes up too!


message 16: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) M.L. wrote: "A pipe only - not lit - and the nurse makes it disappear. This is magic. And whiskey-flavored, aged in oak tobacco is sent along with it - back to the owner. A counter act - also by magic! :-)"

that sounds like such a great scene!

M.L. wrote: "It is funny, I don't smoke either and I think that's why it stands out when I smell smoke.

It's part of using the 5 senses in writing and keeping with the character. More so than smoke, or as bad,..."


that's right. use it when it enhances the plot, world, and characters.


Matthew Culberson I think the fact that someone smokes, despite all the warnings etc...tells a lot about a person and can tell a lot about a character, showing how they handle stress, or don't handle stress, etc...etc...


message 18: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15761 comments Ok, after letting them smoke for a while, does any character plan to quit smoking? -:)


message 19: by M.L. (new)

M.L. Nope! I think I'll have the guy with the stinky cigar sit down and play chess (or poker). He'll light up and blow stinky cigar smoke at his opponent. Should make the game go faster! :-)


message 20: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) Okay, I gotta say...

Unlit Marlboros smell so good. Sooo freakin' good. Just don't light em up hahaha!!


message 21: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15761 comments Yep, don't light, don't sniff, don't inhale (Mr. Clinton's advice, not mine), don't swallow. Admire/Despise from a distance


message 22: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) Nik wrote: "don't swallow"

Sage words.

Okay, c'mon! You guys keep tempting my dirty, dirty mind!! I can't be held responsible. I can't...


message 23: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15761 comments -:)


message 24: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin I personally don't smoke and none of my main characters smoke (probably an unconscious choice).


message 25: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15761 comments Since the cigarette smoke rose from another thread, I thought some may have a say here too-:)


message 26: by Hákon (new)

Hákon Gunnarsson | 17 comments I don't smoke myself, but for some reason a couple of my characters do. One of them smokes a pipe in the morning after breakfast, and another smokes like a chimney. I've told him to stop, and threatened to write him out of the book altogether, but he just ignores me. Lucky for him he is the main character so I really can't write him out. :-)


message 27: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15761 comments Yeah, some of them just wouldn't listen -:)


message 28: by Mike (last edited Nov 26, 2016 11:01AM) (new)

Mike | 181 comments yes, sometimes, but i think it's mostly out of weakness in my writing. in between lines of dialogue, i sometimes find myself thinking that my characters should be...doing things. pursing their lips, grimacing, watching the other person's face intensely, scratching their ears...it all gets boring. so 'he nodded and lit his Camel', or 'he fiddled with the cheap 7-11 lighter' sometimes serves as a placeholder until i can figure out something better.


message 29: by Michael (new)

Michael Fattorosi | 477 comments No but they drink and do cocaine... I should have added some smoking in there as well. Dang!


message 30: by Leer (new)

Leer Es | 24 comments I occasionally smoke cigars. I have 2 underworld criminals smoking cigarettes and one Duke that smokes a cigar from time to time. Neither are shown doing it frequently. The criminals get killed before much of their character gets flushed out. The Duke only smokes in his free time which is very infrequently since he is always designing or taking part in some scheme or another. In all cases it is used to develop the scene and not as some consciously added comment on the habit itself.


message 31: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15761 comments Amusing how we often connect smoking with outlaws or in order to create 'tougher', 'defiant' characters. A smoking librarian would probably sound strange-:)


message 32: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan A librarian would use a classic and stylish pipe, or a hookah from a strange and distant land.


message 33: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan One of my characters (James Haley) is always smoking.

It just seemed to be something he would do.


message 34: by GR (new)

GR Oliver | 479 comments My characters, if they smoke, smoke the type of cigarette that comes out of the period the story takes place. These are the cigarettes I remember growing up and people smoked. The most memorable: Old Gold, Fatima, Raleigh. Hard core characters smoke Camels.


message 35: by Hákon (new)

Hákon Gunnarsson | 17 comments Nik wrote: "Amusing how we often connect smoking with outlaws or in order to create 'tougher', 'defiant' characters. A smoking librarian would probably sound strange-:)"

Funny enough, my chain smoking character is a librarian, but he does get himself into a tough situation. :-)


message 36: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15761 comments Telepathy -:)


message 37: by Hákon (new)

Hákon Gunnarsson | 17 comments Nik wrote: "Telepathy -:)"

Sounds like it. :-)


message 38: by Tyler (new)

Tyler Harris (tylersharris) | 10 comments In my current WIP, smoking was banned when the population of the world was at an all time low. Humans finally reached what they considered a "secure" population, and smoking was legalized 14 years prior to when my book takes place. None of the main characters smoke, and it is rare to see outside of a few specific neighborhoods.


message 39: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15761 comments A year elapsed since we'd last discussed smoking habits, thought we might check whether anyone quit in the meantime or changed smoking substance?


message 40: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin I personally never smoke and none of the main characters in my books smoked, except for one, who was a fictional rendering of a historical person known to smoke heavily, particularly cigars (that was Otto Kretschmer, the biggest U-Boat ace of WW2, who loved cigars).


message 41: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11519 comments I personally have never smoked. (What research chemist who is always handling very flammable solvents wants to be walking around with ignition in front of his face? Or for that matter, what chemist wants to be breathing in an aerosol known to contain over 250 known carcinogens, including 3,4-benzopyrene which, on admittedly susceptible mice, has a 100% probability of inducing a cancer?) My characters never smoke, but not out of purity. I don't see the point of including it. Someone who thinks heavy smoking is a character trait in my view misses the point of what a character trait is. Yes, it describes what the appearance of the person is, but it says little about the character, unless of course the story is about cancer or tobacco, or as Michel noted, it is about a historical person who smoked. It would be difficult to write about Churchill without mentioning cigars.


message 42: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15761 comments Ian wrote: "Or for that matter, what chemist wants to be breathing in an aerosol known to contain over 250 known carcinogens, including 3,4-benzopyrene which, on admittedly susceptible mice, has a 100% probability of inducing a cancer?..."

The wicked irony of life is that a heavy smoker may live over 100 years, while a sportsman die at 25...


message 43: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11519 comments Yes, Nik. On my once annual fishing expeditions, there was a guy upstream from where I fished who was a tanker in WW2, accidentally went in front of a Mark 4 and spent quite a bit of subsequent time on the German operating table. He smoked like a train, and lived into his late 80s, eventually succumbing to emphysema. Some people are designed to live and luck lives over their shoulder.


message 44: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15761 comments Yeah, every once in a while you encounter reports like this: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-ne... Can't vouch for their accuracy though


message 45: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11519 comments It is probably near enough to being true. If she lived in many countries, she would have paid a lot of extra tax in her life.


message 46: by Esther (new)

Esther Tubbs | 36 comments I think it depends on what you smoke. I, like Ian, have never smoked, but the Native Americans smoked, and lived a long time.
Cigarettes nowadays are crammed full of junk.


message 47: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15761 comments Esther wrote: "I think it depends on what you smoke. I, like Ian, have never smoked, but the Native Americans smoked, and lived a long time.
Cigarettes nowadays are crammed full of junk."


With legalization proliferating, marijuana might replace tobacco and junk supplements


message 48: by Esther (new)

Esther Tubbs | 36 comments Well, at least marijuana is natural. If you hand roll a cigarette, than at least you know what's in there.


message 49: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11519 comments Actually tobacco is natural, and apart from the cannabinols and the nicotinoids, the pyrolysis products of tobacco and marijuana may well be the same. The one"benefit" of marijuana might be you don't smoke as much volume to get whatever outcome you seek.


message 50: by Esther (new)

Esther Tubbs | 36 comments True...


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