Skip to main content

Story Cafe: Defying Expectations.

(http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavorazione_a_maglia#mediaviewer/File:Frans_Koppelaar_-_Mother.jpg)


See, here's the thing. When writing a character, you need to defy expectations. Whether it is by writing an interesting damsel-in-distress, or a knitting needle-wielding granny, you want your characters to pleasantly surprise the reader.
Let us take our knitting needle-wielding granny, for example. We'll call her Rosa. Rosa likes to knit. In fact, she is a champion knitter. World renowned. But in the night-time she puts those skills to a completely different use. Assassination.
How much more interesting is that, than a simplistic grandma that spends her days (and nights) knitting and being a sweet old lady who'd never hurt a fly? Significantly more. That's the answer. I want a story about Rosa, not that lady. Rosa naturally creates a conflict in the story. Whether she is the protagonist or the antagonist, she'll drive that story.
That's what your character should do. The conflict in the story should react to them, not the other way around. They should drive the plot.
Of course, that doesn't mean that there can't be conflict that our main character just happens to land in. However, they still have to drive the story. They have to be in charge.
Take Katniss Everdeen, from The Hunger Games for example. Yes, the Hunger Games have gone on for years without her. No, she didn't start it. But her conflict began because she volunteered for the Games. And that's interesting. Because it defies expectations.
Would you really expect a teenager to volunteer to go into a killing game? No, you would not. You understand that isn't normal (unless you're a Career, which is a completely different thing) so when Katniss volunteers to take her sister's place, it matters much more.
Even after she volunteers, she drives the story. Her actions control what happens in the plot. I won't give away any more spoilers, however.
It can be the character defying expectations in that way, or just in personality. Or in their job, like Rosa. You can have so much fun with it. And it doesn't have to happen at the beginning of the story. Sure, that pulls the reader in, but you could have a character that didn't defy expectations right up until the last minute. It might be difficult, but it'd be cool and unexpected.

So what are your favourite characters that defied expectations? Did you agree with what I said above? Comment below, and let me know! 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Problem with Christian Fiction

So I have a secret to spill.
I really don’t like most so-called ‘Christian’ fiction.
There. I said it. In fact, I outright hate a lot of it. Not all, there are quite a few hidden gems. In fact, I’d be happy to recommend some, if you want. **coughcough**cslewis**coughcough**
But as a general rule, I do not like books marketed as Christian fiction. In fact, I don’t like the idea of a ‘Christian’ genre period.
I used to like them, when I was younger. But, as I got older, I started feeling more and more…dissatisfied, I guess you could say. I finished them and I ended up feeling…meh. Not strongly at all.
And I wasn’t sure why.
After all, they were the sort of books that, as a Christian, I should enjoy. I should finish them and feel strengthened as a believer, come out feeling more ready to live for Christ.
But I didn’t.
And it was actually kind of upsetting to realise. I felt like I was a bad Christian because I came out of them feeling empty, instead of emotional and excited.
And I starte…

Beautiful Books: Ghosts, Doughnuts and Other Related Things

So my last blogpost was a serious one where I was kind of just ranting about Feelings™ and I had no chill. But this week we’re back to me being an idiot with gifs, so I’m happy! I say with gifs, but Blogger won't insert them, so we're gifless for this week, sadly. So just me being an idiot. I'm sure that's exactly the same.
I haven’t posted since January (except for last week and I didn’t feel like I could ramble about this in that post) and that’s because I’m the worst. But I did have my reasons and originally I didn’t intend to start back at blogging until I had quite a few posts written and ready. That didn’t happen ‘cause of the last post which my mum made me post.

But anyway, I am back now, so hopefully everything should go sort of smoothly. Once again, I shall aim at getting a post out every week, though it’ll be Saturdays from now on, but I am not making promises, because that basically dares me to forget. So you can expect regular posts, but don’t expect too h…

Prepping for NaNoWriMo

Hey guys!

So this week's post is all about preparing for NaNoWriMo. And we're still only part way through Preptober, so I'm not late! Good start.


Prepping for NaNo is a bit different, in my opinion, to prepping for a normal first draft. I made a post awhile ago about planning vs not-planning, here: On Planning (Or Rather A Lack of Planning). And I still stand by it. However, for NaNo I think it's a bit different.

NaNo is about sitting and writing, nothing else. You really can't afford to be taking time out of writing to research or develop a character or develop your world. When I write without planning (which, as you can see from that link above, is my preferred way of writing), I find myself pausing to think about my plot or my characters. It works for me, but it does mean my first drafts tend to be relatively slow in coming. That doesn't work for NaNo.


You need to pound out 50,000 words in one month and ideally those words should probably make sense. I'v…