This is the fifth installment of the Character Conversations series. If you haven’t read the other installments, that’s totally fine. You can read them here: convo #1, convo #2, convo #3, convo #4, although they will make sense if read out of order.
We live in a world with beautiful things and horrendous things. It’s a world of beauty and pain. It’s filled with saints and sinners. You can find that out by just stepping outside into the real world or by watching the news at any given moment.
[Tweet “Our world is a world filled with beauty and pain, & saints and sinners.”]
Last month, Johan’s grandpa passed away. It was really sad. He went in for a surgery and made it through that just fine, but all of a sudden when he was in the healing process, his heart just stopped. It was so tough, especially since Johan was here and the rest of his family was in South Africa.
In that same week, our town was hit by a horrendous crime that made everyone very uncomfortable and took away that safe feeling that a small community has. A pregnant woman went missing. And then they found her body.
You see, the woman had been pregnant when she went missing, but then two days after she went missing they found the suspects with a two-day old infant, who was significantly premature. But there was no mom to be found.
So all of us were expecting the worst. But, thank goodness, the little girl was alright, but it’s just so sad she had to be born into the world, in this kind of a situation. My heart broke when I heard about it. Who would do such a thing?
How could someone be so evil and messed up? What’s creepy is that evil human had a route that brought her upon that circumstance. She made choices that turned her into a murderer and kidnapper.
[Tweet “Our world is dark and grim at times isn’t it?”]
Our world is dark and grim at times isn’t it?
And yet, our world is also gorgeous and lovely. The moment spent gathering with family around the holidays and the laughter in a baby’s eyes. It’s just beautiful.
That same week, half our country was ablaze while the other half was treading water. And then now, after hearing about what happened in Vegas, you really can’t imagine how evil some people can be. And how they even got there to that point.
This all got me thinking about characters and the stories we spin. We have good characters and bad characters, but sometimes our good characters are too good for real life and they have no weaknesses. Then our bad characters seem evil with no real or redeeming qualities. Just pure Disney villain, with no backstory. Sometimes that makes for a boring character. Villains and heroes aren’t all good or bad. They are a combination of the two.
[Tweet “Your hero and villain are quite the same, they just made different choices.”]
I once heard from someone, that in your story, your hero and villain are quite the same, but the hero chose good choices and fought the evil trying to ruin them. While, the villain did not.
- Get out your notebook.
- List some things that you find beautiful in the world. Describe them in detail.
- List out some things that you hate and feel make the world a worse place. Why do they make it a worse place?
- Now write down your character’s names. What realistic good and bad are they made up of? And why are they that way? Did their parents lock them up high in a tower? It would affect them for the rest of their lives, if they had been.
- What caused your character to get to this point?
What did you come up with?