Characters are so hard to get right. I just read a book with arguably perfect people in it. Now I don’t mean that altogether literally—no discussion of sin or perfection was involved, but there was very little room for either personal growth or ongoing flaws.
Still 25I enjoyed the book. In a way, it just meant that the plot was more important in holding my attention. One can presume personal growth just happens offstage or in later books of the series.
Huh, unless people consider falling in love to be personal growth or development. One could argue that love or romance is a growth in trust, but I’m not sure I’d always equate it with one’s character, although it can. Shrug. I guess we could always argue about what is arguably perfect!
Anyway, I guess it begs the question whether people want to read about realistic people. I used to read predominantly about the fatally flawed, but I’m not sure whether I’d want to write that way.
What do you think? Would you rather use characterization as a tool (which I think is neutral, not bad) or as a realistic depiction? Is individual development your thing?
🙂 Maybe I’m glad I’m not writing a novel right now! But I’m saying a prayer for all of you who are!
2 Responses to Arguably Perfect
I prefer realistic characters, but I think in some stories it could possibly distract from the plot. The writer can’t force the characters to display a flaw just to display it if it’s not pertinent to the story arc. That gets distracting. Of course, trying to strike the balance so my readers both see my characters as realistic while not showcasing their flaws so much they stop caring about them…. that’s the difficult part for me. (That and keeping secondary characters from feeling like flat stereotypes….. sigh.)
I’m a huge fan of character development. It’s usually central to my plots, when I plan them (whether that’s a positive or negative, I’m not sure)…maybe it’s part of being and introvert and the amount of introspection that comes with that territory. For me, though, a book with a character who goes through something that would in most or all cases change a person, only to have that character the same, or nearly the same, at the end as at the beginning–it ruins the book for me. Without growth, there is no life.
To take it a step further: without growth, there is no LIFE. Inside the analogy of God having grafted us into His Son, a graft shows it has taken by continuing to grow. Likewise, we continue to grow. Sure, there are winter-seasons, where growth has all but stopped; but there are also times of great growth–often through the adversity of the stuff novels are made of.
I guess that was a bit of a ramble! 😜 Thanks for your post! Good topic. 😊