I find that one thing that can freeze me up as a creative writer is allowing myself to worry that any character I write about would be utterly boring to anyone who reads about her. This stopped me for a few years. Why bother?! No one will care about my character unless she has superpowers or some other phenomenal characteristic. But, she’s just a regular girl going through her own little crisis. What’s so exciting about that?
Similarly, I spent a number of years not thinking there was a whole lot of worth to my own life for the same reasons. I never became a famous actress like I had hoped to when I was a little girl. My life is not exciting (in any way I’d like it to be), and I’m not rich and traveling the world. But I have gone through a number of trials that are interesting, mostly because of how I’ve chosen to deal with them.
Likewise, it is how most characters deal with their lives that makes them interesting, too; they are usually just regular people in unusual or difficult situations. We like to read about them to compare them to our own lives, sometimes to see that we are normal, sometimes to see that it could be worse, sometimes to see someone who shows strength or courage when a lot of other people might not, which can motivate us to be stronger and braver, too. I realized that it’s okay if my character is a “nobody” in her world, because nobody is really a nobody. If I can describe her and her life in a way that others can relate to, then her life is worth talking about.
3 thoughts on “So, Why Would Anyone Care?”
Some of my favorite children's books that I've read are about ordinary children–I think what makes the books compelling is the realness of the characters, how their voice makes us feel like we're living in a real world with someone enough like us to love them. (Some of these books include the delightful Penderwicks series, Jenny Han's Shug, and Love, Aubrey).
Good post. I think one of the things with the paranormal craze right now is that we tend to forget about the characters who were and are normal that we have been drawn to and loved for years, decades, centuries. It is our job to get them out there well enough that others can love them as we do.
I questioned whether anyone would want to read about my main character either. She didn't have any super powers and she saves the day in a rather brave but simple way.
BUT then I remembered Little Women and the Anne of Green Gables series. No super powers there but so much heart and my MC has heart.
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