Saturday, September 8, 2012

Character and Change

Character is what illuminates the story, engages the reader in the situation, and, hopefully, allows them to identify with the protagonist.  Right now, I'm having a problem with character; not simply the character himself but where he is going and why.

Character development is the focus of much literary advice and most of that advice is that the main character should develop and grow as the story progresses, arriving in a different physical or mental place at the end of his or her arc. IMHO, this type of story frankly sucks because it too often has an artificial epiphany or revelation that segues into a smug and too often preachy denouement.

While it is true that most of my characters undergo some sea change in the stories I have written ones where the lead character actively resisted change - holding fast to his concepts to the bitter end, like Tam, the captain in my VIXEN novel. Others dither about in states of confusion, never resolving their inner lives - Sam Boone is an outstanding example.  Then there are the tragic characters of my Shardie cycle, ever doomed to a bitter end.

Would that life were like that but, unfortunately, the majority of our lives aren't. We seldom experience flashing insights that change our lives or minds, we never encounter abrupt alterations of our lifetime trajectory, nor do we change that much at the end of each "adventure."  Any serious changes take place slowly and often with great resistance as we fight the inevitable with rationalizations, excuses, and delays that enable what needs changing to persist.

And maybe that's where my current issue is taking me - not to resolution, but an acceptance of changes inevitable arrival.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading my blog!