Today, he refused to eat an ordinary peanut butter and jelly sandwich. His sandwich would express attitude. It would be special. He aimed to make it wonderful.
John Harvey Kellogg, the guy who invented corn flakes, figured out how to make peanut butter from raw peanuts. The guy who often gets the credit, George Washington Carver, had nothing to do with it. Richard Allen Hofacker knew all about the main use for peanut butter; a protein substitute. He also knew why doctors use it to detect Alzheimer’s; it tests a person’s sense of smell. A day without peanut butter was a waste.
The time making his peanut butter sandwich took too long. Hofacker figured it would take as long as the three-minute video. It took longer. Hofacker fired up the waffle iron. It took five minutes to get hot. He reached into the wrapping covering the bread, with organic blue cornmeal, and he pulled out two slices. The iron was hot and he dropped both slices in, moving them around to cover all the holes, and pressed down. The video explained it was best to flatten the bread first. That seemed like it would take longer, but Hofacker hadn’t tried the recipe before.
Writers need to run as quick as they can from sunshine and rainbows. At least when developing a story everyone will want to read. Can the main character end up in a land of beauty and peace? Sure. Just don’t plan on writing a sequel.
Pain, wounds and disaster are what we need to strive for when writing a good main character. Give a character pain and a past full of strife, trouble, and challenges. Allow them to triumph. And then smack them again.
Wounds provide the best motivation to overcome an obstacle and move the story forward. Give your characters a reason to fulfill a basic need for love, faith, understanding, and belonging. Make this character pain so intense they must do something to overcome it.
Pain and suffering also suggests your character has a basic flaw that leads them to more pain. A character weakness that they must hide or tackle in order to move the story forward. Allow the character to show they have the strength to overcome their weakness.
The whole goal is to make the story move from scene to scene. The best way to do this is by finding the pain.[plain]What are your thoughts about character development? Post your comments below.[/plain]