DP – Weekly writing challenge: We all have something to share, and we all have more to learn. This week, teach us something — or share something you’ve been taught with the class.
I love to learn. If it didn’t cost so much I would still be taking college courses, though they would be something a lot more fun than managerial leadership. But there are other ways to learn. As I work on my fiction writing, I tap into my writer’s group for inspiration, feedback and ideas on how to strengthen my plot and build my characters and take the occasional workshop or seminar to build on what I know.
Some of the things I am learning about character building have been very interesting. While it may not be anything knew to most of the readers and writers out there, for me it has not only been educational but enormously fun.
I grew up a sheltered child drawing smiley faces on flowers and sunshine with dancing butterflies. It took me a long time to realize there were people in the world who have nothing better to do with their lives than to make sure the people around them are miserable. While we don’t like these people in real life, we love them in fictional literature.
Think about it? Where would Cinderella be without her evil stepmother? She’d be just another normal girl in a blended family. Snow white without the evil queen? Just another woman cohabiting with seven diminutive men.
Think of your favorite TV shows: Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Once Upon A Time, The Good Wife. The list goes on. What they all have in common is an evil character we love to hate.
One of my favorite novels is The Help. This book has lots of evil characters. Some redeem themselves, some show themselves for who they really are and some eat pie.
One of my writing friends created a character in one of her novels who she absolutely hates. Now she wants to take her antagonist and make it her protagonist. It’s an awesome idea. The one thing we love about evil characters is the fact that we can do one of two things; we can make them redeem themselves, or we can make them lose.
As I work on my novel, I am starting to see each of my characters personalities evolve. I have started with certain ideas based on the people I know, but then each has grown into something more. One is very orderly and quiet who doesn’t like to stir up trouble, another is a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants gal who is passionate about truth and justice. We have one antagonist who feels bad about the situation, but not enough to do the right thing and another who wants to win at all costs.
I am learning a lot about myself as I write and one is that I enjoy creating the evil characters a little too much.
In a way, writing fiction is like being a super hero. With our mighty pen we control the situations in our stories. We decide who wins and who loses, who lives and who dies and, well, who eats pie. It’s a very wonderful thing.