Tag Archives: Character Development

Not What She Deserved (Spoiler Alert)

My friend Julia and I have been watching a series called Once Upon a Time for a while now. I watched it for the first time with my friend Nick, and it was totally necessary to share. Eventually it becomes evident that the series follows a pretty basic good versus evil scenario, typical of any fantasy series, and rather apt, considering all the characters are, in fact, from fairy tales or Disney movies. Over and over again, the heroes are faced with a villain or several villains, and several problems that have to be solved. What’s great about the series is that it sometimes changes the nature of characters, so, for example, characters that were heroes in the original telling of the story, are villains in the “real world,” and characters that were once villains become heroes.

One might think that a series that follows a basic good versus evil plot like this where the situations simply get more and more difficult to handle might get boring. It doesn’t. Just when you think the heroes have won and it could never possibly be worse, it gets worse. From a writer’s perspective, it’s fantastic to see just how creative these writers are.

There is one part in the series where the heroes actually get sent into the Underworld–where the Greek god Hades lives. The afterlife system in this series is actually pretty interesting. Basically, one goes to the Underworld if one has unfinished business, and one has to stay there until one has taken care of whatever that may be. Once it’s finished, one moves on, either to a better place or a worse place; in other words, Heaven or Hell. There is one character in particular who definitely does not get what she deserves. She plays a significant part in the series, and she is utterly detestable, but because of something she does for her two daughters while she is in the underworld, she moves on to the better place.

I mention this because Julia and I had very different reactions to the scene. I found it rather satisfying, while Julia was thoroughly displeased. I don’t know all of Julia’s reasons for her reactions, but I could likely guess a few. I do know my reasons. To be sure, there is nothing redeemable about this character. However, she has a brief moment when she realizes how awful she is, and she freely and honestly chooses to help her daughters. I like it when people are given the gift of redemption. It doesn’t matter who they are or what they’ve done. This character didn’t have a long, drawn out redemption story. She simply saw reality for what it was, acknowledged that she deserved the worse place, and was given the better place because of it.

In real life that’s called Grace.

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Being Someone Else

I’ve done 2 posts on my new “Dry World” blog, not including the “About” page. It was a bit shaky starting off, but I think I’m getting the hang of being Kithryd. I’m starting to understand how she thinks and what she wants out of life. I’ll admit she was based on myself when I got the idea for the blog and first started writing, but she’s already starting to develop qualities that are far different than my own. For one thing, she’s more snarky and sarcastic than I am. Her personality is just generally more serious. The biggest difference is that she likes math and wanted to major in engineering before the world fell apart. Just for the record, I suck at math and I don’t like it. It’s interesting trying to get inside a character’s head, especially when it’s a character you’re creating.

I’m taking a fiction writing class at school and right now we’re focusing on Character development. At first I was terrified at the idea of taking a fiction writing class because I thought I would be terrible at writing it. My first assignment was to write a story based around a strong character, so I wrote a story about a mother and daughter who have very strong and clashing personalities and who are forced to work together to decorate a house. Throughout the story I tried to hint at the fact that their relationship isn’t very good, and it ends very badly. I’ve only passed in my first draft, so there’s time to make changes, which I’m sure I’ll need to do.

I’m writing “Dry World” in the first person and I wrote my other story in the third person. I think I’m better at writing in the third person, but I wanted the blog to be authentic, which meant I didn’t have much of a choice. I just think it would be hard to do a blog from a third person perspective.

The link to “Dry World” is on the designated page. Please check it out. Feedback would really be awesome.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!