Watching Breaking Bad has led me to think about the way I act sometimes (and by extension, how my characters behave). I'm nearing the end of season four, and Walt is clearly turning into a bad guy. He acts on instincts, doing things that he clearly wouldn't have done before the cancer and drug dealing etc. He gives in to things that most likely he (and by extension us as an audience) would never do. For example, when he was supposed to return his son's car because it costs too much, he instead went for a joy ride and then proceeded to blow it up.
It got me thinking about the way I act, the way people I know act, and the way my characters act. Do I give in to my instincts or do I censor myself? Do I allow myself to say and do the things that I know in my better judgement are probably not wise? Do others? Do my characters? Or, do I go through life with a censor, keeping in some of my darker thoughts? I think the answer to that is that yes, of course I do. We all do, don't we? It makes me wonder how others behave. Do they censor themselves? And if they do, what kind of thoughts ARE they censoring that, if they were to make them known, would hurt/offend me or others?
It's a lot of questions that may seem obvious, but as a writer, it makes me wonder how those thoughts that pop into our heads daily and then are immediately squashed affect us. Do religious people ever have thoughts that are clearly atheistic and then squash them? Do people who claim to not at all be racist (and indeed don't show those traits at all) have those thoughts and just ignore them - or do they genuinely not have those ideas in their minds? Are all people as twisted inside as I am, do those thoughts simply not occur to them? Do Republicans actually believe some of the nonsense they say or do they convince themselves to believe certain things (same with Democrats, I suppose, but my bias is showing).
I don't know what all this means, but it's definitely something to think about as I'm writing. Could those dark thoughts that creep in at the most inopportune moments have an impact on behavior - and if so, could it change the whole direction of a story?