Change is the process of growing into who you are supposed to be. But who needs change?
A very happy and healthy Monday to you all. I hope you are all enjoying your Family Day/ Islander Day/ Louis Riel Day today (for those of you in every province in Canada except for BC - Seriously BC, get it together, it makes no sense that your Family day is a week before the rest of us… you’re not THAT progressive!) and President’s day if you are in the States. If you are reading this from somewhere else, well then you probably didn’t get a holiday today… or if you’re reading this from a ship, I. am. sorry! I know that it sucks when the rest of the world is celebrating some kind of statutory holiday, but just remember there are only (insert week count) Embarks left until vacation!!
Ok, sorry for any of you that are not on a ship, and don’t know someone that has once worked on a ship, that last line is probably a little confusing for you. I should maybe mention here that a good portion of my adult life was spent cruising the high seas working for a reputable cruise line. That is definitely a story for another day though.
I had a very exciting topic planned for this week, and I am not going to tell you what it was! (na-na na-na boo boo) Joking! I will probably use it at a future date. I was watching some Youtube this week, and ended up on Kristen Martin’s channel watching a post about characters in your story and Character development. Now I don’t want to be that unpublished writer ranting on about Characterization in your work in progress. There is something about not having actually published my own work and giving advise about how to write that just doesn’t feel valid to me. I did, however, listening to an analogy she used when describing characters, and static characters vs. dynamic characters. Although I do have to admit, I was a little skeptical about her visual, it did get me to thinking, and one thing led to another and there I was, analyzing my own behaviours and whether I was static or dynamic, and if I was either or, was that what I wanted to be, or what does it say about me. It has been playing around in this little head of mine since 5am Saturday morning, and I have decided that it would become this week’s topic, one of self reflection, self awareness and maybe self discovery! Ready??
Ok, well if you’re not into it... if you would rather learn more about me that about yourself, maybe you should go start reading my blog from the first week again, I can’t guarantee you will learn anything new, but you will get to experience my witty and always oh-so-wonderful random thoughts - there is definitely merit in that.
For those of you who are ready to dig in, let’s get going. I need to start by taking you back to school. Remember in English class when you had to participate the dreaded "creative writing"? Rest assured, I am not going to drag you through the difference between prepositions, dangling modifiers and subject verb predicates. Today we are only looking at the difference between a static character and a dynamic character.
A static character is a character that essentially begins and ends the story unchanged. They may have had some ups and downs, but basically they're the same. A dynamic character is a character that grows as the story moves forward. They adapt, compromise, learn, and by the end of they story they emerge as (more or less, and for better or for worse) a completely different person - Hold on… just had a story premise jump into my head! See how easily it is to be inspired? I literally inspire myself! Jeez I’m a rock star!!!
(Insert hold music)
Ok I am back… sorry, you have to write this stuff down when it hits you!
So, here is the analogy that Kirsten Martin uses (by the way, I will link her Youtube channel below - she’s entertaining to watch, and just listening to other authors talk about stuff, any stuff, it gets the juices flowing!)
Imagine you throw a piece of cooked spaghetti at the wall. When the spaghetti hits the wall, it molds into a shape completely different from the one that it was in your hand. Now let's say you throw (I can’t remember what she said it was… something hard) a rock at the wall. The rock bounces off, and assuming you didn’t throw a soft rock really really hard at a very dense wall, that rock is going to remain relatively unchanged, right? So your spaghetti is your dynamic character, and your rock is the static character. If you take a moment to think of some of the people in your life, I am sure you can think of a few that would fall into either category right? I have friends and loved ones that I can say, beyond a doubt, they are static characters in my life. They may change a little here and there, but ultimately they are the same person, same beliefs, same attitude, same grouchy Portuguese accent (oops wait… disclaimer: All the names and characters used in the blog are “loosely” based on people in real life. Names have been changed to protect their identities - but you so know who you are!) Then there will be people in your life that are dynamic, people who you watch grow and change, for better or worse, and grow into someone new.
Which of these character traits best represent you?
It got me to thinking. I am definitely a dynamic person. I am constantly changing, adapting, compromising, adjusting, and bending like that limp spaghetti noodle into weird shapes. I do this all the time. But my question is, being a dynamic person, is that healthy. Is it healthy as a human being, someone who’s story doesn’t end at page 356, is it healthy to be the dynamic protagonist in your own story? My husband is the Ying to my Yang. He is unchanging, he is static. He is firm in his beliefs, and although he is not “rock-like” that he doesn’t change when he hits the wall, he does change, and bend, but when it comes to the core of who he is, he is un-bending, because this is who he has decided to be, and changing that is compromising who you are.
So what about you. Are you dynamic? Do you hit a wall and change your shape to accommodate the wall, or do you bounce right back off and, if anything, leave a mark on the wall?
I have thought a lot about this over the past few days and I think, diplomatically and probably a little too conveniently, why not have both? Is it possible to be both bendable and rock solid? And if it is possible, is this something that you are born with, or is this a trait that you learn (I guess if it’s learnable, essentially we are ALL dynamic, we have the ability to grow, it is just then a question of whether you do or not)
There are days where I admire my husband for being so steadfast in his beliefs and his opinions, and there are days I curse him for it, but deep down, there is something to be said for holding true to who you are, the real you, the character that grows, or the character that remains a constant. Just like every great book is made up of both, so this world is full of both.
If you are a writer, or you have done any story telling at all, think back to some of your hero/ heroines, your protagonist is probably the best self reflection you can find. You hear all the time that you write what you know, and I can tell you from experience, it would be quite enlightening to consider some of your character's traits, you might just find your looking right into a mirror of self reflection!
So that’s my thought for tonight. I am changing my posting schedule to bi-weekly. The weekends come so fast and I find I am scrambling to get things together for all of you, so I am going to drop back to bi-weekly, and research my topics a little more to provide you with authentic and quality reading!
I hope you all have a wonderful short week (except you BC, and shippies) and I will see you all again shortly!
Kristen Martin's Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYyy_hiZRaSLGLOn62Nc4AA