Character Growth

Jul 7, 2021

Guest Blog By Linda J. Pedley

A reader picks up a book as a form of escape, a getaway from real life to forget about now and get lost in wherever. The author employs techniques to ensure the reader has a good reading experience. Because readers relate to the main character, or protagonist, they have high expectations for that character.

In order to drive interest and engage a reader enough that they will turn page after page, the author must make the character believable. They cannot be perfect because… well, that is just not real. We know it’s only a story from the author’s imagination, but we invest time and must relate in some way to the main character in order to champion the story. The hero must grow. By that we mean, the character must face conflict, overcome obstacles, and change – become a better person.

Over the past year, we have experienced a situation that many of us have never faced before and perhaps never will again. The pandemic is real life. So what has the past year to do with reading a novel?

We have already ascertained that a character must grow – change and learn over the course of the book. Facing obstacles, solving conflict, learning, becoming a better person – this is all growth. YOU are the main character in your life story.

We have been forced to adapt to new ways, limited ways with restrictions, mandates, and orders telling us what we can and cannot do. How have you changed in all this? Are you more accepting? More patient? More compassionate? More helpful? Have you strived to learn new things, new ways to keep in touch with others, new ways to communicate? Have you learned things about yourself? Your family? Those around you? Are you more tolerant? Less wasteful? More resourceful?

The situation over the past year either provided us with an excuse to be angry and resentful, stubborn, or sad… or it opened up opportunities for us to grow.

I would like to think that I have become a better person at least in some ways. If we tried our best to move forward then I feel it is growth. We all have our faults, habits, attitudes that might not be swayed; after all, we are only human. So like the main character in your favourite novel, we, too, shall overcome by persevering.

Take care all. Be safe and stay well. Linda