It’s the last episode of our character series… That makes me a little sad, to be honest. I’ve had so much fun working on this series, researching characters and coming up with fun character traits to talk to you about. I honestly haven’t decided yet, what we’ll be talking about next week – but don’t let that stop you from checking back in on Monday! It’s guaranteed to be a fun series, whatever it ends up being.
Also, don’t forget that preorders for Dwr open TOMORROW at the RAD Store! You’ll definitely want to get your hands on a copy of this one.
But, let’s talk about characters.
If you’ll recall, last week we talked about the Average Joe Who Does Amazing Things, and the problems that occur with that character in general (even though he can be a lot of fun to read, at times). This week, as promised, I have somebody much better for you to focus your attention on.
The Real Guy
Okay, so this is going to seem like it has the most obvious answer known to mankind, but I need to ask it anyway:
Who is he?
Well, he’s a real guy. But I wanted to talk about him because he’s the one very few writers actually want to use in their stories, and I’m not sure why.
So, the Real Guy is a guy who does real guy things. He has insecurities, strengths, weaknesses, pride, joy, the usual things that most people ever have. And he’s very normal about all of it. He goes to work five days a week (maybe), he goes out with friends (every once in a while, at least), and he shops at Walmart or Target (because really, who doesn’t?).
But if he’s so normal, then…
Why should we read him?
What’s his purpose in life?
What is his draw, for the reader?
This is the part that writers get hung up on, and possibly the reason why he’s not written very often. We think that he’s so normal, too normal, and that he couldn’t possibly be interesting, because he’s so stinking normal. But remember when we were talking about female characters? The most interesting ones were the ones created to be the most like real women!
Surprise, surprise, it’s the same for men.
Readers like him because they can relate to him. He makes sense, we understand him, we can justify his decisions because we probably at the very least know someone who would’ve made similar ones in his shoes.
His purpose is to show humanity for what it is, to remind readers that not everyone is epic, that not everyone gets to be Iron Man or Neo. He’s the normal guy, who sometimes gets called on to extraordinary things, and who does them in the best way he knows how – which is all any of us could ever ask of ourselves, when it comes right down to it.
And that, my friends, is why everybody loves him. Even if he doesn’t get written a lot, even if we see him all the time, we never get tired of him. Why? Because he’s real, and if we got tired of him, it’d mean we were tired of living.
We’re not that.
Especially if we’re reading. ;-)