To Appease or Not
The discussion thread that followed was extremely interesting. Basically, it boiled down into two schools of thought. The first was unapologetic of the characters we writers create, no matter how offensive. The second school of thought basically subscribed to the philosophy of escapism. That is, the places and characters we create should offer our readers refuge and solace from the ever-volatile real world.
The Power of Stories
There is no right or wrong approach, of course. And often, we writers conjure up stories that include elements of both schools of thought. But I think I know why the author was attacked so by her fan base. It became clear to me after listening in on a fascinating webinar by Daniel Levis for copywriters about the power of storytelling. (He offers a powerful course called, "Effortless Influence -- How to Master the Art of the Sales Story." You can learn more about it here.)
Our Secret Yearning
After Daniel Levis' enlightening webinar, I think the main reason we human beings like to be told a good story, is we are perpetually searching for heroes. Deep down, I think we crave heroes -- positive role models -- in all aspects of our lives. When we become fans of an author's fictional world, we do so because we identify with the places and characters within it. In part, we become our favorite characters in our minds.
If we as writers offer up just undesirable characters with no redeeming qualities to identify with, subconsciously, our readers can easily be turned off by the story we are telling. This does not mean that we should strive to only write about goody-two shoes characters. In fact, as we have discussed in previous blog posts, characters that are too sweet and nice come across as artificial and boring. To identify best with our heroes, they must be flawed like the rest of us humans. A great story -- one that our readers can't wait to hear -- is about a flawed hero having to step up to the plate. What are your thoughts on the subject?
About This Blog:
The Found in the Jewelry Box Blog is my attempt to teach others about the wonderful world of gems and jewelry, past and present. Please enjoy!