If you've lived any amount of time, hopefully, you've seen your friends (and yourself) grow in character. As writers, we must always consider what our character's arc will be. How they will grow and become a better person. Character is often forged in tragedy. As I was watching "Hoarders" last night, I thought how incredible it is that some people who are raised so abysmally can go on to do great things and overcome their struggles. And some people can turn all that tragedy inward and self-loathe until their house becomes a garbage dump and everyone who ever loved them, leaves.
It is so tragic when people don't overcome their circumstances -- a waste if you will. I think that's why I'm so attracted to really strong characters who take longer to get the message. I mean, I admire Job, but I get King David easier. David was a stubborn character. I mean, God was there for him. God delivered him, but when faced with the beautiful Bathsheba, God forgot about those times. Isn't that the beauty of grace though? It's why I love the Gospel message because nothing can separate us from the love of God.
In today's economy, people are really struggling and we can have so little grace for one another, but if we're on God's character arc, we get to keep trying. I have friends who are really religious, go to church every week, teach Sunday school, etc, but in 20 years, i can't say I've seen any character growth. (God is their judge, not me, I'm just saying from the outside looking in.) And yet, at the same time, I've watched friends go through alcoholism, divorce, church splits and addiction to become better people. Children of God who get why they need Christ.
What kind of Character arcs do you enjoy? Is David too up and down for you? Is Jonah too depressing? What kind of characters either in the Bible or in a book give you encouragement?
One of my favorites is Jack Nicholson in "As Good As It Gets" -- not remotely perfect, but better. Sometimes, that's as good as it gets.
Labels: character arc, growth