It’s June. We’re halfway through another year! It’s insane! This month is a big month for me as it’s my birthday at the end of the month plus I get to celebrate an anniversary that I didn’t think that I would ever be celebrating. I have a lot of friends graduating from university this week, along with my significant other. I also have a friend’s engagement party to attend this week as well. It’s also going to be the first time I’ve been back to my university since I graduated last year. It’s a lot of big moments are coming up for me and a lot of my friends.
This also got me thinking about writing and the big moments that happen there – and they don’t really happen. They are glossed over. For example, in the Bride Quartet series by Nora Roberts, we have a Cinqo de Mayo party thrown by one of the characters parents and we’re told that this book is a big deal by the author. but she hardly spends any time having the characters interact with people at this party or shows the bonds that tie the people in that community together. I know that the author needs to make sure there is a plot point to the interactions that happen, but instead of telling me that everyone comes to this part every May 5th, show it to me.
Nora Roberts isn’t the only one who does this. In the beginning of the second Princess Diaries movie, Ann Hathaway’s character graduates from university. They spend maybe ten seconds to show us this and they don’t mention her graduating again in the entire movie. The director, in my opinion, wasted ten seconds to show us something that wasn’t even relevant to the plot in an way. I think this is a shame. They glossed over something that is a huge step for the character to Mia; she worked hard for that degree and it isn’t even acknowledged as being an asset to her or that it was a big moment in her life. In the same movie though, they did make sure the moment of her becoming queen a big deal – because it is, but to a degree I still felt cheated. I wanted to know more about her as queen and what they did to celebrate that.
I’m sure I can think up a lot more examples than this, but I’m sure you get the point. As writers we should celebrate the accomplishments of our characters as well as their failures and tragedies. As much as tragedies and failures shape characters, and actual people, our successes shape us as well. How we handle the highs in our lives says a lot about us as human beings. Those who brag or look down on those less fortunate than them when they themselves are doing well is another way to convey character. It also helps convey relationships in the family as well and can help develop relationships between character.
Until next week!