So I wasn’t sure what to write about until I read a post from http://lisa-laura.blogspot.com/2011/04/on-writing.html. Then I started thinking about change, (You’ll learn that change is one of my big thoughts) what can change and how do we write change. So….
There is this thing called the “fundamental attribution error” it is an error that we make when trying to figure out why a person does something. Think about someone cutting you off in traffic, how do you describe that person, what are the first things that come to your mind. Studies have found that generally we overweight attributes that are stable (race, age, sex, things that don’t change personality) and underweight attributes that do change (pregnant wife in the car, texting on cell phone, sick, things that can be changed.)
One of the big things that we overweight is personality. Personality for the most part does not change and yet, how often do we try to change our own personality or someone else’s. A movie that has many different types of change is Lord of The Rings. Study the difference between how Frodo, Sam, Pippin, and Merry (spelling may be wrong sorry about that) change. Their personality, race, sex all stay the same yet their behaviors change drastically. At the end Pippin and Merry are still goofs but they take on more responsibility. Sam is still the “mother hen” but he has a lot more confidence. Frodo who has changed the most is still Frodo but has a much greater weight on him.
The way people change is most often slow and hardly noticed, like the hobbits. Other times we have drastic changes like in the case of Gandalf going from the Grey wizard to the white. Look at the people you have known the longest. How do they change? Have you noticed the changes? This is how our characters need to change as well. They should change over time except for in extreme instances. The changes will be perceivable but only slightly. At the end of the book readers should recognize the change but while reading, it should almost be imperceptible. Once again back to Frodo think about how he changed, it was not unnatural and rushed but slow and steady.
How do you write change in your books? Do you think personality can change? Share with the rest of us so we can all learn together J