currently playing on my iPod: Shelter by The xx
What sets you to hugging a new novel, dreaming of the main character, drooling over the author’s next piece?
The characters? Perhaps. They must be relatable and yet unique, fresh. I love Cassandra Clare’s work and so I’ll bring her up for some examples. Let’s talk Jem from Clockwork Prince. Of course he is a good lookin’ fella, but that’s not what makes him interesting. He has a terminal illness. He plays the violin. He is strong as hell but also weak in many ways. Hm. Now I’m getting to the crux of the thing. Conflict. Even in characters we are meant to love, there must be some tension within their very being. That struggle between might and weakness, good and evil, selfless courage and vanity, is what draws us in. We want to understand those complex characters. We want to know them and see if we can predict how they will act and react throughout the story’s ups and downs.
Yes, I’d say great character development is one of the reasons I just have to run a finger over the spine of Clockwork Prince as I pass by.
But more reasons bubble beneath all that. And we’ll talk about those next time.