Yesterday we braved a discussion on incorporating a few paradoxes into our story’s characters. Let’s follow up that up with a more specific thought. How about utilizing emotions to create an interesting character?
In writing, we try to avoid directly stating that a character feels glad or mad, but we do convey their feelings through the scene. Wouldn’t it then stand to reason based on yesterday’s entry that an emotion contrary to the character’s stereotype might heighten the scene’s interest?
I’ll use an example from BATTLEFIELD EARTH since it’s my most recently finished reading. Toward the end, Sir Robert is acting as earth’s leader, which is a position of dignity. Furthermore, Sir Robert’s character to this point has been resolute and steadfast. My fear for earth’s safety thus increases tremendously when Sir Robert (who I had counted upon) grows desperate and tired in a meeting with the Galactic Bank. He fails. His emotions show that he despairs, and the scene heightens because as a reader, I know the planet’s future rests solely with what the hero, Johnny, can do.
By using an emotion contrary to what I expected of the character, Ron Hubbard (the author) greatly increased the suspense for the final chapters of BATTLEFIELD EARTH.
Well, if I wore you out with all that talk of paradoxes and you’re wishing for something simpler, I did want to leave you with a bit of fun. Check out today’s blog from Marty on Dark Star Discovery regarding the history behind the authors of CURIOUS GEORGE.