Recently, I heard powerful testimonies from a few people who endured several hardships. It got me thinking about characterization in fiction. We as reader’s demand that the characters grow and change over the course of a story. That’s what makes characters relatable and intriguing. On the other hand, we have all known people who remain pretty much the same throughout their entire lives. They maintain the same behavior as they did in high school or earlier, even well into their fifties and beyond.
These people who would be labeled as “static” characters in fiction may have children, have gotten married, maintain a home and mortgage, but still excessively party and have an immature black and white view of the world. Especially with all the explosive controversies arising lately. I have seen people from older generations have an “agree with me or you are evil” perspective. Now, I understand I’m only getting a small glimpse of these people’s lives on the internet, but there are writings and social media posts from some folks that maintain a similar theme, “I’m right and everyone else is wrong.” There are of course, issues that should be black and white, but immature virtue signaling that appears to be all too prevalent.
I heard a quote, “If you aren’t growing you are either stagnant or regressing.” That means if we are not actively seeking out growth than we are at very least staying the same. It is entirely plausible to have a story of static characters and have it be “realistic.” That would not be an engaging tale that most wouldn’t finish. We expect growth and change from fictional characters, but what if we held ourselves to the same expectation? In the real world, true well-rounded people who are constantly growing sometimes seems like the exception. Imagine if that was the case in fiction? Everyone would undoubtedly be bored. It is easy to fall into the rut of routine of work, bills, and general numb feeling to the day to day life. I challenge myself and those reading this to work toward growing a little every day.