Writer’s Wisdom 29

Character Strength

The story line is important, but characters have to drive it; they have to make it alive, real – the pages have to keep turning.  If you have watched the popular TV series 24, you understand what I mean.  In the series, the basic premise is pretty much the same – Jack Bauer has to prevent a terrorist attack, which is usually a nuke or bio threat; and a big part of the government is corrupted, making the task almost impossible.  This is basically it, but how is it that we  want to keep watching, over and over, can’t get enough of 24 and Jack Bauer, or can’t wait for the next season to come?  Why is it that this simple story that repeats itself in every season, manages to capture us with such force? 

It is because of the characters.  The characters in these series are strong, unpredictable, forceful, and full of mystery and deceit.  The characters drive the series, and keep us in our seat – watching and wanting more.  If you notice, every season new characters appear, old ones die or disappear for a while; sometimes they are brought back.  This is how the series is kept fresh, no matter if the story line is almost the same – the terrorist attack and the corrupted government.

No better example than this one to show you how important character strength is in any story.  Weak characters make for a boring read.