November 19th, 2011

Team Free WIll

Thoughts on Character

Last night I was thinking about some of my favorite shows or books and how upset I get when the plot takes a turn that could permanently kill off a fave character of mine. I get mad. I get upset. I get grumpy. But in the end, that tells me the writing has been successful. Why? Because I am invested THAT deeply in the characters.

(This is different from getting mad at bad writing: looking at you, Smallville.)

I've always considered myself a plot-heavy person. I still think I am. But if I can't latch onto the characters, then the plot means nothing to me. Not even the most amazing plot can make me love the characters. There are many TV shows out there that have cult followings that I can't watch for that reason I feel nothing for the characters.

It got me thinking about my aspirations to be a pro writer. I've had some success with a few small publications, but I would love to write stories in a greater professional capacity. I want to have characters that I can invest in and that other people can invest in. Characters that stay with you and you don't want to leave.

I've run into many characters like that over the years. Clark Kent. Lois Lane. Mulder and Scully. Skinner. Jack O'Neill. Daniel Jackson. The original SG-1. Many of the Harry Potter characters. Sam and Dean Winchester. Castiel. Bobby Singer. Luke Skywalker. Han Solo. Leia Organa. Etc. Successful characters are the ones you love to love or love to hate. You want to stay in their worlds forever.

I had a point to this post but I seem to have lost it...

Oh well. But characters. The heart and soul of the story. I hope I can achieve that someday.
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