Movement and Character Development

I read a book by a botanist who divided life into the species that move a lot and those that move only a little. He framed it as a choice. “Self,” I said, “there has to be a story in there somewhere.” So far I don’t have an entire story, but I do have some ideas about using this choice for character development.

Very often those characters who choose to move a lot are divided into useless gadabouts or visionaries. That gets boring after a while, but if I dig a little deeper into our evolutionary history can I make something more layered out of a choice to move a lot? Could the visionary have found a way to fulfill her potential without leaving everything that made her?

Similarly, the ones who stay are generally divided into hidebound traditionalists or saviors of the collective past. Ditto on the boring bit. Perhaps a choice to stay could mean both more and less about the fear of change, and at such a deep level that the character will never fully understand her motivations.

And this is why you should always read outside your genre. You never know where your next characters, plots, or high-concept projects will come from.

Luck and wisdom!

Author: Lani Longshore

Quilter, writer, chocoholic, black belt (karate), killer of houseplants, reader of maps (and I still get lost)

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