By: C.S. Lakin
Persona vs. Essence
All of us are flawed. Over the years, since childhood, we have developed a “face” we present to the world. Often that face is formed by hurts we’ve suffered early on. We start out all innocent and sweet, and then after a few of life’s hard knocks, we hide behind a persona that feels safe. A true hero’s journey will show the process of the hero moving from his persona to his true essence by the end of the story. And this is a great model for novelists.
Almost all great stories show the protagonist at the start of the book in his normal world. This is the place in which he functions, interacts with others, and makes his way through life. But if you’re telling a rich story, there’s going to be something wrong with this picture. Even if this character seems happy, we can tell he’s really not. And it really doesn’t have to do with his visible goal established at the outset. Oh, they are interconnected, and the goal should be a vehicle for helping your character “find himself.” But reaching his visible goal isn’t the real thing that will make him truly happy. Every person who is not living in his or her true essence is going to be unhappy.
So your character should reveal this in the first chapter somewhere. Not that they’re miserable and glum. You can have a really happy character step onto the stage. What I’m talking about here is showing some aspect of the character’s persona (the face he presents to the world) that is not really him, not how he truly feels, and is the source of some dissatisfaction in his life because, well, he’s being phony in at least some way.
Who Really Is My Hero?
Here’s a question you can ask: “Who would my hero be if he could really find the courage to [or was forced to] strip away his outward personality and reveal his true self?”
. . .
To read the rest of the post, click here:
If you missed my latest writing and marketing tweets, here they are again:
- The (Real) Future of Publishing | Digital Book World http://ow.ly/XAyqG
- Here's to Publishing: Perspectives With Context - Publishing Perspectives http://ow.ly/XAyxJ
- 7 Top Ebook Price Promotion Stats You Need to Know http://ow.ly/XAyFv
- NEW: Share a Kindle Instant Preview | chrismcmullen http://ow.ly/XAyPb
- How Facebook Squashed Twitter - Stratechery by Ben Thompson http://ow.ly/XAyTV
- Seriously Write: The Emotion of Setting by Sandra Ardoin http://ow.ly/XAzws
- Where Is the Diversity in Publishing? The 2015 Diversity Baseline Survey Results | Lee & Low Blog http://ow.ly/XBg6W
- 51 things that break reader immersion, with examples | Creativity Hacker http://ow.ly/XBvLz
- Traditional Publishing, Non-Compete Clauses & Rights Grabs | The Passive Voice | http://ow.ly/XBSZ2
- Top 5 Publishing Markets for 2016, Chosen by You - Publishing Perspectives http://ow.ly/XDg0n
- In Brief: Are You Making the Most of the Amazon Affiliates Program? http://ow.ly/XDgbj
- At Your Fingertips: Tips and Tricks for Our Mobile Apps | The Daily Post http://ow.ly/XDgfW
- #35: Want to Be a More Creative Writer? Get Curious! - Ann Kroeker, Writing Coach http://ow.ly/XDgkf
- How to Write Battle Scenes | A Writer's Path http://ow.ly/XDgnR
- Scene Structure: Understanding the Truth about Character Arcs | Live Write Thrive http://ow.ly/XDgr0
- Writing Solo after Being Collaborative - Elizabeth Spann Craig http://ow.ly/XDguy
- Fiction University: The Organized Writer: Making a Production and Marketing Bible http://ow.ly/XDgy8
- Looking for a writing/revising challenge but short on time? Try this. via @inkyelbows http://ow.ly/XDgGs
- Stop the Madness Before Your Writing is Utterly Destroyed | Positive Writer http://ow.ly/XDgO5
Post a Comment