Friday, July 27, 2007

Views of Life

Another key characteristic for our characters—and for ourselves!—is how they/we view life. Do we assume everything happens for a reason? Do we assume that if one thing goes wrong everything will? Do we assume that everything will go right?

How we and/or our characters look at life determines how we act and react when something goes right or wrong. Knowing this for our characters means that we can add depth to our stories by using that knowledge to create a consistent pattern of behavior for them. And if that pattern changes, then it will signal to the reader that growth has happened. (Yes, we and/or our characters can grow and change our views on life.)

I’ve been thinking about that this week as I watched my friend’s roller coaster ride about her breast cancer reconstructive surgery. First it was scheduled for Tuesday, then they found something on her lung scan and cancelled it and said it was possible the cancer had returned, then they said no, it was just scarring and rescheduled the surgery. For today.

Thank you to those who privately emailed me prayers and good thoughts for my friend. She is a gutsy, determined woman who used to wear bright Hawaiian shirts to doctors visits in the middle of winter when she was fighting Hepatitis C. She will find a way to cope with this, too, and be grateful that it isn’t cancer returning after all—just reconstructive surgery to heal from. I hope you will keep her in your thoughts and prayers again today as she has the surgery.

It’s useful to remember that if our view of life doesn’t serve us well, we can change it and that it IS possible to believe that the best might happen. Useful, too, when creating our characters to think about what they might believe and whether it’s something we might want to help them learn to change—through the power of true love, of course, if we’re writing romance!