I don’t particularly enjoy characters that don’t change.
I don’t understand the appeal of say, James Bond. There’s not much character growth with that guy and frankly, I find him kind of boring. (Obviously, considering the success of the movie franchise, this opinion of mine is in the minority.)
I like characters that develop along the way. Those are the ones I can’t stop thinking about. Characters who have an internal, emotional journey that is just as compelling as whatever external adventure they’re having.
I suspect that the reason I, and so many others, love change so much in fictional characters is that it can be such a challenge to achieve in real life.
Professionally, there’s nothing more rewarding for me than hearing from readers about how much they love how the characters in my CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN series have developed. It’s something I’m always working on and I just love that their character arcs resonate with fans.
Personally, I’m easily bored when I find myself being stagnant. I’m always working on ways to stretch myself. I’ll give you two examples of how I’ve changed in the past year:
1) I’ve become a beach person.
I was so NOT a beach person that even when I moved to the city with the Best Beach in the U.S. I didn’t go there for the first ten months.
But after listening to a local friend rhapsodize about their love of the sand and sea, I decided that maybe my long-held prejudices should be reexamined. I took myself to the beach a couple of times and fell in love. Now if I don’t get to dip my toes in the surf at least three times a week, I feel deprived.
2) Twice a week I have appointments outside my comfort zone.
I’m a quiet, shy, extremely reserved introvert who thrives on constant worry and has a compulsive need to plan ahead. To combat these natural tendencies (not that there’s anything wrong with any of them) I’ve been taking improvisational comedy classes.
Not surprisingly, I’m not a good performer. But surprisingly, I’ve made more progress than I would have thought I was capable of. I’m still quiet and shy and reserved, but the lessons I’ve learned on stage about worrying less and being in the moment more have served me well in other areas of my life.
What about you? What kinds of character change do you love? Have you made any changes in your life recently?
Written by JB Lynn www.jblynn.com
"If you love series such as Evanovich's Plum and Bond's Body Movers, you'll love Confessions of A Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman."