Monday, October 29, 2012

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#254) -- Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Why do you feel as if a GOOD story HAS to involve the character changing?

I think the issue comes into play when people assume the change must be a major one or a changing of personality. Many times, the change is simply that of having gone through the experience and it shaping some growth or pain or refusal to grow in the character. It doesn't mean he or she becomes a different person in a core character sense.

A case in point, my story for The Ruby Files (follow the store link at the top to purchase your copy) has Rick's case affect the way he sees his relationships with the three key women in his life.


Does it change his behavior with them? 

No. 

But it does give him the opportunity to do so. 

In that sense, he changes a bit, if simply because he faced an opportunity to be a slightly different person, and refused to let it change him, instead burying himself in the old life to lament that (although he doesn't see it that way) lack of courage.

That's one of my big issues with series books. You can't have the characters make significant changes because readers expect the characters to remain essentially the same. However, in a series book, the peripheral characters CAN and usually ARE the ones who have the most change.


A caveat: Change added (like a seasoning) simply for the sake of having a change isn't what we're talking about here. That is pointless and unfair to readers. The change should be somewhere at the heart of the story. Changing the "change" should in essence change the story, just like changing the plot or character's personality would. Or so I believe. 

As always, your mileage may vary.