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Mount Orégano
Sue Burke
Go Ahead — Write This Story: No change 
21st-May-2014 02:46 pm
Bottle of Oregano
Some definitions of fiction say the main character must grow or change. This is not true. In Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis, the personality of George F. Babbitt never changes. George and Lennie do not change in John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. Bart Simpson and James Bond never change, either. Their motivation remains the same. Only their situation changes, and that can be enough for a good story.

If you need some changing story situations, here are a few ideas:

• This is a story about an escape plan that would have been perfect, but Herbert was the same outside of confinement as he was in it.

• This is a high fantasy story about a wise sorceress who solves a series of increasingly difficult confrontations with evil, but her skills do not increase as the danger increases.

• This is a steampunk story about a loyal minion — or rather, told from the minion’s point of view as other characters go about their thrilling, life-altering adventures.

— Sue Burke
Comments 
21st-May-2014 05:04 pm (UTC)
Yay for characters who don't change! Sherlock Holmes. Jeeves. Perry Mason. Nancy Drew. Spock, Kirk, and McCoy. Marple and Poirot.

And when later episodes try to change them, note the decrease in quality.

And the increase in story quality, when a character is pressured to change but copes and keeps unblemished -- eg the OST about Spock's parents.


Edited at 2014-05-21 05:06 pm (UTC)
22nd-May-2014 06:11 pm (UTC)
That's an interesting plot idea: someone who could change but does not...
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