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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Relating to Characters

Trying to improve on some character descriptions got me thinking.
Most of the main characters in popular fiction have similar leading roles.  The characters are generally the 'every' boy/girl with something to overcome.  Obstacles can vary from being plain, orphaned, tragic loss, or coming of age.  Something in the life events of the character spurs a dramatic call to action and discovery of unwavering standards for truth, right, or victory at insurmountable odds.

Somehow the majority of the population seems to relate to these 'everyday hero's'.  Yet, the majority of the population would by definition have to be in the 'mob' of non-doers in order for the main character to stand out. 

It's nice that readers at large all see the glimmering of greatness lying dormant within, perhaps waiting for the dystopian society to rise so they can shine.  If nothing else I find comfort in the fact there are so many popular books based on government having too much power and one or two characters overthrowing the lack of balance.  I am counting on those readers to unite if our government gets too far out of line with power hungry changes toward long established rights.  I keep waiting for the Facebook post calling all Sci-Fi fan readers to some kind of Cyber Union of fictional book instruction based overthrow of power and the gradual return of authority to the people of society. 

I also wonder if anyone relates to the mob... Does anyone feel connected to the book majority population?  The group who never question oppressive power?  The classmates who standby while a bully finally pushes the 'hero' to the breaking point and thus igniting that winning spirit?  The devastatingly attractive character who is filled with vanity and greed, always getting what they want and unable to overcome a sense of entitlement?

We can all see the fire kindled within us demonstrating our destined greatness.  Best Sellers are always the books that overcome the most unrealistic odds for good.  I know I prefer a happy ending to stories I read or movies I watch, but I do realize it's ridiculously optimistic sometimes.  Even things 'based on reality' take a great deal of creative liberty in some areas to ensure the story is thrilling and emotionally taxing from they first sentence to the final breath.

I prefer a good story.  I guess I get enough reality in my day, the drudgery of downtime, to crave the nonstop action and adventure of a story. 

However, I do think I try to make my characters 'too normal' for the best sellers list.  I love stories where the characters aren't 'all good' where they have that mischievous spark of poor decision making or ill placed judgment and you somehow like them anyway.  Maybe that's why some of my favorite movie characters are those people who can make the 'bad guy' somehow likeable. I don't want bad decisions to be made to look good or good decisions to be bad, but I like the idea that everyone harbors the potential for both good and bad.  I love the internal struggle and the notion that you might not know for certain which direction the main character will choose. 

I know what I find dynamic and entertaining, but whether or not I can capture that in a character in a plot I create is another story.  My freaking dilemma! 
Who knows if anything will ever materialize.  In the meantime I am living the arch of potential for my own successes.  Will I choose to continue working out the flaws and character/plot development my attempts lack or will I fall to the laziness that seems to grow within and the hopelessness of being able to tell a dynamic story that other's will want to read. 

Only time will tell if I am truly a character of the 'hero'  who triumphs in my own life endeavors or the character who dreams things up and falls just short of following through on my goals.  Ugh, harsh.

I know what I want to be. 
I better keep working at being the success story and not the tale of tragedy.
I guess I better get to typing some adjustments and enhancements.  I'm writing a story for young readers, you might not think it's that difficult.  If you're a naturally talented writer it might not be that difficult.  For some reason it is truly overwhelming for me most times.  I struggle with flat characters, bland plot ideas, rushed action sequences, and hallow supporting characters. 

Stupid relatable and well written best sellers, you make it look so easy!  I read those tales and believe I can achieve the same life success of my own goals as the main characters. I truly believe it!  And all my efforts have me questioning that gleaming inspiration, but my stubborn nature won't let me forego all my failed efforts thus far. 

It's like being inspired to get slapped in the face repeatedly.  Being inspired to be reassured you not only lack talent, but the ability to correct or strengthen your weakness. 

It's a good thing I'm hardheaded and blindly optimistic, not to mention so 'well-read' that I have a deep seeded notion that no matter the hole of inability there will always be a way to achieve, to climb and overcome. 

So, thank you, unrealistic best sellers. 
You have provided me with the lack of reality to continue to pursue my goals and I salute you! 
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