Please welcome author Vanessa Jaye!
Character Arcs vs. Character Reveals
Recently I budded into a conversation on twitter (cause that’s the type of gal I am) on the topic of favorite/most impressive character arcs. Spike from Buffy came up a lot, but for me I had to go with Tobias Beecher from the show OZ.
Beecher was a square middle-class, wife, 2.5 kids type of guy, who was convicted of a drunk-driving fatality. This guy was a babe in the woods thrown amongst the wolves when he arrived at Oswald State Correctional Facility. His character change/growth was incredible—going from a state of almost total naiveté, to a hate-filled hardened killer, to a man who makes peace with himself/ his sins and just wants to move forward and be a better man.
At the same time of the twitter conversation, I got into a parallel conversation with my son about the show The Shield—specifically about Detective Vic Mackey. Vic is a dirty, dirty cop. No two ways about it. But the interesting thing about the Mackey character is how the writers show us this horrible man and his nefarious deeds from the jump and for the next 5 seasons, yet the viewer ends up rooting for Vic and hating all the characters who are out to nail his rump to the wall.
Because Vic wasn’t just the blackest shade of BAD *mwahahaha*; he was complex tints of grey. Many of his victims were the scum of the earth on the one hand, then on the other, we saw him go out of his way to do acts of selfless kindness. The writers took us through all the layers of this character, good and bad, and what a fascinating trip of discovery it was.
Since this is a book blog, I’ll bring this back around to books. Which do you prefer? A character arc/growth where the character starts at point A and ends at point C? Or do you like the excavation/reveal via the character’s layers? And what are your favorite examples?
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Check out my recent release from Samhain Publishing: http://store.samhainpublishing.com/hunter-heart-p-6522.html target=”_blank=”>HUNTER of the HEART. Werewolves only mate once … for life. Don’t they?
Or visit me at: www.vanessajaye.com