Character s

In dramatic and literary circles it is acknowledged that the best stories are character-driven. What this means is that the story evolves because of the choices and actions and reactions of the characters. Their beliefs and values, their awareness or prejudices, all the characteristics that make them a unique individual influence these choices and actions, which in turn allow the plot to unfold.

Cliches are sentences, or plots or stories without individuality, without authenticity. They are sometimes efficient at conveying information but they go in one ear and out the other without leaving any impression.

I think life is like that. The more we are true to ourselves, say what we mean, do what’s important to us, the more we are living a character-driven story and not a cliche. The more we make an impact on each other rather than going in one day and out the other without leaving any impression, the more meaning we find in our relationships, our days, our stories.

The more characters we find in our lives.


One thought on “Character s

  1. I personally feel that we enjoy character-driven stories because they are obviously fictional. Life hardly ever immitates art in this respect. In a story, a woman can wthe in the lottery, simply because she believed she could. In reality she might end up living on the streets because she spent all her money playing the lottery and never won. But that story keeps her playing.

    Also, plot-driven stories are simply more difficult to write, and the average author of the current time period could not manage a plot-driven story. I think the lines between the two are slim to begin with because, obviously, a character can still make choices within a plot driven story. A character whose demise is set in stone by chapter 20 can still take his own life in chapter 3.

    Also this literature is a great way of boosting people at the top and keeping those at the bottom down. This is a great mechanism to keep society spinning as those on top prefer. There is a certain amount of guilt that comes with doing well while others are starving. That guilt is only alleviated by the “knowledge” that you deserve what you have gotten, that your choices have somehow influenced this. That no bias played a role.

    Even though we are aware that ethnic groups, the elderly, the disabled, and women, are statistically less likely to do well in the same situation as a white male, we still live in a society full of white males and females who pat themselves on the back and say, “of course things are going well for me, I’ve worked so hard”

    And I think, of course the rest of us want to hear the stories of that 1 or 2% of the rest of us who “made it”. Maybe because there are less of those stories, and we all want to know their secrets.

    As a writer myself I prefer to write about the triumph over evil than the triumph of evil over humanity, even though I see so much more of the latter in reality :D. It’s rare to see a person who is without a coping mechanism, addiction, severe religious belief, hidden abusive tendancy, or barely concealed rage.

    But I think everyone who tries to write a story deserves a chance. The only cliches are in reality. Most stories are biographical. Cliched writers just lead more vapid lives than others.

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