Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Change of Seasons: Shifting a Character's World View
My middle child will be a senior next year, and our youngest is only two short years behind him. Suddenly the house seems too big and too quiet much too often. Where once I looked forward to getting out for peace and quiet, some 'me time', I now find I'm here alone more than I want to be. I'm thinking about 'me time' in a different context now. When the kids were small, time was scarce. Now it can be a great expanse.
Change is inevitable.
I'm struggling with a character in my work-in-progress. I worry that she isn't changing enough throughout the course of the manuscript. Or that the scene when she realizes she needs to adopt a different world view isn't strong enough. Yet I can't be TOO obvious or I risk sounding like I don't trust the reader to figure it out on her own. After finishing Donald Maass's The Fire in Fiction, I'm rereading (and highlighting like crazy) parts on inner turning points and measuring change over time. It's a fantastic guide if you struggle with showing emotional conflict like I do.
Change is hard.
Last night I watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Great movie! The book, by author Stephen Chbosky, was even better (in my opinion) in the way that words sometimes pack a bigger emotional punch than images. There is a scene in the book when one of the characters wrestles with change:
'It's much easier to not know things sometimes. Things change and friends leave. And life doesn't stop for anybody. I wanted to laugh. Or maybe get mad. Or maybe shrug at how strange everybody was, especially me. I think the idea is that every person has to live for his or her own life and than make the choice to share it with other people. You can't just sit there and put everybody's lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love. You just can't. You have to do things. I'm going to do what I want to do. I'm going to be who I really am. And I'm going to figure out what that is.'
Change is empowering.