Friday, April 12, 2013

A to Z Challenge: K is for Karma


Welcome to the A to Z Challenge! This is my first year participating. Basically, we post every day except Sunday, which in April means we'll finish on the 30th. We blog about something each day which starts with the corresponding letter of the alphabet. So, day 1=A, day 2=B, etc. Visit the A to Z blog for more details.

My theme is writing and related bookish things. A pretty vague theme, I'll admit, but as this is a writing/bookish blog, I thought I'd clarify. 

Today's letter: K 
K is for Karma.

Karma, when used to denote something like poetic justice, is a lot like just plain justice, which is what I posted about yesterday.

However, karma can be a bit different too. It can often be used to mean destiny or fate. Sometimes this is interchangeable with justice because some scumbag character did something so bad or scumbag-ish that their 'destiny' to pay for the bad things they've done. Of course, this isn't always the cast. Karma can mean the fate or destiny of a good character as well.

This is often shown through foreshadow (i.e. prophecy, flash forward, ice-monster prologue, etc.), though obvious that's not a requirement. Readers always want to see a character get their comeuppance, whether good or bad. Hinting at a destiny early on--though with subtlety, of course--can keep a reader interested, just so they can see that destiny, be it poetic justice or awesome rewards--meted out.

Keep karma in mind in your writing. It can be invaluable as a literary device.

Any other thoughts on karma in writing?

Review of earlier A to Z Posts:

A is for (story) Arcs                     F is for FOIL                        
B is for Back Story                       G is for Ghost Lit 
C is for Characters                       H is for History
D is for Dragons                            I is for Irony/Imagery
E is or Excellent Endings            J is for Justice


  1. What comes around goes around. (Very fitting with that image above!)

  2. Don't know that I believe in karma, but sometimes I really, really think it's a cool idea and would love to see evidence of it!

  3. What some people call Karma, I call God's sense of humor.

  4. Hi, found you and your blog via the A-Z :) I must admit I've used karma a lot in my little novella - couldn't avoid it really, it's all about an individual's destiny!
    Suzanne @ Suzannes Tribe

  5. I like how you worked foreshadowing into this. That changes what can be a contrived ending into an excellent ending.

  6. And the picture tells the story better than 1000 words...

    Super post. :)
    My 'K' was also Karma.

    Best wishes