Monday, August 24, 2015

Change Is A Part Of Life

Change is a part of life. You and I are not the same people today we were ten or twenty years ago. We've all lived through myriad experiences, ones that make a difference in who we are. Fifty-one years ago, I was a happy, carefree new bride looking forward to a lifetime of love with my new husband.

I had no idea then of the several places we'd live, of children we would have or of the children we would lose. I didn't know how the deaths of our parents woud affect us. I wasn't aware of how I would have to get accustomed to our empty nest when our children became independent adults. I had not even a hint of the writer I would be. I didn't know how my attitude would alter toward so many issues in life.

You've all experienced many changes in your own lives. Some were physical while others were emotional. You may have changed from a person who had little empathy for others to one that related strongly to problems your friends or family had. Perhaps you once had little tolerance for people who didn't try to help themselves. Then, some experience you had changed that attitude.

Change is what the characters you write about must achieve. The protagonist in your short story or novel must go through situations that bring about the change in the person they were originally. Otherwise, you aren't going to have much of a story. Sometimes those changes we see in the people in stories are subtle. Or they could happen as the result of one major event. It's you, the author, who must steer your character through the ups and downs of life so that the change takes place by the end of the story.

It's the same for those who write stories for children. The chld who is the protagonist must show definite change from who he/she is at the beginning of the story. You, the writer, must dream up a situation that brings about the change.

Next time you're in a group of people, look at each of them and know that they all have stories; they all have experienced changes in their lives that have made them the person they are today. You may know some of the people well enough to be aware of what some of those changes were--how and why they occurred.

Yes, change is a part of life. As a writer, you make the changes in your characters. You transform them as your story progresses. You create whatever it might be that brings about the change in your character. Doing that is challenging but often great fun.

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