Every Monday, MYSTERY OF CHARACTER FEATURING SHANNON MUIR focuses on the art and craft of writing, from Shannon’s perspective or that of guest authors. To catch up on all posts, check out the MYSTERY OF CHARACTER FEATURING SHANNON MUIR portion of the website! This week features Shannon’s thoughts on whether or not characters should behave differently just because it is holiday time.
The holidays are supposed to make things jolly and bright, right?
So how does that affect characters?
When we see that Ebenezer Scrooge or the Grinch can even be moved by the season, does it make it a requirement that every character should be?
I’d argue not.
Ultimately, a character should be true to what that character is. In both the above characters, their attitude is part of trying to block out specific emotions that are part of their character whole, and as a result, creating a lopsided characterization of their full selves.
However, perhaps a character in a story set in the holiday season clearly just isn’t redeemable. For them to do so would not be authentic to themselves or perhaps even a larger story. In the end, the story needs to dictate. Granted, dark thought about the holiday season aren’t what anyone hopes for, but perhaps a story might need to make that point to help the reader find brightness in him or herself.
Until next time!