I was going through a bunch of books today, and I realised that there are a lot of recycled elements that I am just pretty much done with. I have blogged about characters who are sad, outcast, and orphaned. On different occasions, and hopefully not all of those at the same time (though they often are).
Character growth and development are good. But why do they all have to start in the same place? It’s like everyone writing these days has a graphic of Maslow’s hierarchy tacked on the wall. With a dart buried into “love/belonging”. They even beg reader sympathy with the same things, regardless of genre. Mean girls exist in Fantasy novels. Outcasts abound.
This keeps the character growth either limited to a Cinderella path (weak to strong/friendless to well-loved, etc.), externalised, or non-existent. Some Cinderella paths are external, like friendless to well-loved, and poor to rich. Even if the main character earns these things, they are not character development. They are a change in conditions. UNLESS she was friendless because of a character flaw. The majority of outcast characters are not outcasts by choice–if they say that they are, it is almost always revealed to be bravado.
This was just a thought that came to me. Other things I was thinking at random:
- Post-apocalypse/dystopia is now considered a GENRE. What?
- Strength in female characters continues to be measured, seemingly primarily, by how unpleasant they are.
Need to do some work now. Blah.