Friday, February 24, 2012

Character in a Story

I've been working on a story lately. Yes, it will be another one of those posts. I won't be offended if the one or two of you that read this blog just skips this post entirely, ha ha! Perhaps this is for my own sanity. But I've been working on the main character lately. I confess that I want this story to be perfect (who doesn't want their own story to be that way, right?). I believe the key to a successful story is for the characters to be believable and the pull that draws the readers in.

So, the main character is very much the young man. He is ready to take on the world, all while ignoring the risks that are so clearly before him. He is naive about so many things in the world. Yet it is this naivete that will either destroy or save him. He is in a unique position for he is nobody important and yet incredibly important at the same time. He is the heir to a throne of no real power, just religious power. He is the latest in a line of a family that carries magic in their veins. It is this secret that if known will cause his death. Magic is something to be destroyed in this world because it is more of a nuisance to those in power than a tool to use anymore.

But I hope he is relate-able. How many of us have begun a new phase in life's journey all bright-eyed and eager to make a difference, get it right, or just see what will happen? We will be naturally ignorant of the risks because we don't expect them. Remember that part of your life when you felt invincible? That's this young man. He wants to make a difference, change the world, and even bring salvation to the weary and down-trodden. He is very similar to a missionary in that regard.

When people read the story, it's my hope that that's what they get from this character. They feel his youth, his energy, his optimism, and his courage to face opposition that would pull him into a web of deceits, intrigue, and destruction. But there's more to it than that. The city he goes to live in, the capital of the empire he lives in on this world, is not a place of safety and opportunity. He will have to find a way to overcome despair, a sea of poverty, cruelty previously unseen and unimaginable, and hopelessness that will threaten to overwhelm him. He cannot survive it as he is at the beginning. Like all stories, he must undergo a change or he will break.

So, it is my hope that when people read it, they want to know what will happen to him. It won't matter whether it's political intrigue, human suffering, love, or simply keeping sane in a world that seems so keen on falling into the abyss.

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