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Characters are cheap

November 3rd, 2012

I have this theory that goes like this: Character are cheap. I know how easy it is for a doodle to get it’s own back story and tragic twist and three part saga before the inking. Ironically that’s the part that keeps us interested in a story. Not so much the settings or drama but how the characters interact and grow with the settings and drama.

Now it seems we can watch as my theory is proven true as the 30 characters in 30 days November challenge is underway.

3 Responses to “Characters are cheap”

  1. Yannis A

    That theory has been around since forever. You should read Aristotle’s Poetics, which is now in the public domain. There he defined the meaning of tragedy. It has been enormously influential in shaping ancient Greek and Roman tragedy (particularly the tragic work of Shakespeare, too) and many other genres indirectly. Unfortunately, the work Aristotle wrote on Comedy has been lost and we only have fragments of Poetics. You should absolutely find a copy of it, it’s obviously in the public domain and there should be dozens of copies in English on the web.

    One key quote I’ll pull from there is: ‘tragedy is a representation of actions’. He expands on this greatly and writes one of the greatest essays ever written, with all points interconnecting, in a typical Aristotelian fashion. I would highly recommend you read this even if you’re not interested in tragedy as a genre.

  2. Joe

    Never said it was an original theory. Mostly this was just an excuse to point everyone to the 30 characters challenge. I actually enjoy this sort of thing myself.

  3. Yannis A

    You should still read it. It shows eloquently (along with most literary criticism) how characters are only relevant in terms of the narrative (not story, that is different). Even a narrative with a single character can be good. The challenge completely misses the point. Read some texts of literary criticism and it won’t be hard to make out why. Poetics is an easy and essential one. Start with that.

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