Monday, September 10, 2012

Creating a Moral Dilemma for your characters
            I love my DVD’s of Lark Rise to Candleford. It’s a BBC production that had four seasons. The actors are great and the setting is well-defined, but the thing that draws me to the series is the writing. Each episode is set up for character definition, character insight and character growth. Protagonists are faced with moral dilemmas that push them toward personal change.
            For instance: Dorcas, the postmistress, knows the secrets of the two dress-maker sisters that keep the shop next door. Should she continue to keep the secrets as each sister confides in her or should she reveal the truths so that the sisters can work out their problems together?
            Daniel, an out-of-town journalist, has written a slanderous story about the people of Lark Rise. He has promised the Lark Rise parents of the girl he loves that he will not see their daughter until he apologizes to the town folk he has offended. Can he keep that promise?
            Our characters do not grow and change unless we give them hard things to overcome. Linda Garner has written an excellent children’s story about a little girl who is the victim of bullying. She grows and changes as she solves her problem.
            I have to keep this idea constantly in my mind because I’m the queen of dropping tension and solving the protagonist’s problems for them. I need to let them face their moral dilemmas and work through their own troubles. I must trust that they will come through. And, you know what! They always do!
Happy Writing! Christy Monson

1 comment:

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Christy
You're right. The characters must have obstacles to overcome. The more the better. I relate to your difficulties creating them though.