I posed an interesting question on my Facebook page. If you had to change places with any fictional character, who would it be? It's a fascinating question...
Instead of selecting someone based on his strengths and powers, you also have to consider his weaknesses and his life consequences. For example: If you chose Atticus Finch because of his strength of character and his integrity, you have to accept the fact you would now be living in a society that devalues equality and is extremely racist. Not to mention you just gave up air-conditioning. What if you chose a superhero such as Spiderman? Then you have all the super-villians out to kill you. Yes, you have superpowers, but you have all the consequences with it.
Considering the question suddenly makes you aware of the depth of characters in fiction. How do we learn so much about each one? The writer uses two methods: direct characterization and indirect characterization. Direct = "he was lazy" which tells the reader directly what to think. Indirect = "he sat in his chair with his feet up watching as everyone else in the room was busy helping in the kitchen" which allows the reader to come to his own conclusions. It's a difficult decision as a writer. What do I tell and what do I show? And the writer's choices either deflate the story or build it's tension and credibility. This is the struggle I am facing as I continue my saga of Canaanshade. I hope to keep you involved and invested.
Here are some of the choices you all made in your character-life swap: McClintock, Big Bird, Castle, Snow White, Cinderella (post-shoe fitting), and Frank Reagan. What about you? Who would you choose? Then take a moment to thank the writer for making such a person.