Carrie’s teaching a class at the Writing Barn for the next six weeks about . . . character!
That means we’re talking a lot about character in our house.
Of course, we’re also being characters because being characters is more fun than talking about them. It’s like the difference between telling in your writing and showing.
And in the writing world one of the big annoying things writers hear about their characters is that the character is “too static, man.”
What’s it mean to be too static? It means that the character isn’t growing or changing.
The opposite of a static character is a dynamic character. That’s a character that grows and evolves.
In most stories (but not all) our protagonists grow and change and are dynamic dynamos. They are characters we root for or follow, right? The evil miser who hates Christmas becomes a generous benefactor. A little boy wizard who hides under the stairs becomes a wizard leader in the fight against darkness.
But if you think about the James Patterson series’s protagonists, most of them are like Sherlock Holmes and they don’t really grow and change. They are pretty consistent a lot of times.
And then there is the bad guy/antagonist.
Some editors will want your bad guy to grow and be dynamic too, but a lot of times those baddies and a lot of your side/secondary characters will be pretty consistent and static. Think Hannibal Lecter. Think Gaston in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
What can you use static characters for?
To be foils to the main character.
To make fun of tropes and stereotypes or shallow people in society.
To get pulled along in the main character’s fun.
To sometimes have contradictory goals that create obstructions for that main dynamic character’s quest.
WRITING TIP OF THE POD
There is a place for dynamic and static characters in stories, but you know, you should know what the words mean.
DOG TIP FOR LIFE
Don’t be static, dude. Grow. Become.
The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License.
Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song? It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.
AND we have a writing tips podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW!
We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook. But she also has extra cool content focused on writing tips here.
Carrie is reading one of her poems every week on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!