A to Z Challenge 2013

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Feeling a little better

Thanks everyone for hoping I would begin feeling better.  It must be helping because I actually am.  Or possibly it's because I'm nuking this damn thing with killer medicine.  I usually avoid taking any medicine at all, so when I do take any, it's pretty potent.

I'm a big fan of not taking medicine.  I'm a believer in the idea that our bodies have a great capacity for healing themselves.  Yeah, sometimes I have to suffer through a few aches and pains, but I do believe I'm healthier for it.  I don't take flu shots and the fact that they have to keep updating them for virus mutations tends to support my beliefs.  In fact, the worst case of sickness I ever had was after I got a flu shot once.  It might be coincidence, but I don't think so.

What does all this have to do with writing?  You know I always have to tie everything here into a writing post (since I haven't had any good writings of my own to share for a while).  As I ramble on here, I am thinking about beliefs.  I have pretty strong beliefs in general, and I tend to stick to them like glue.  What about the characters that I write?

I was going to say that all main characters need to have a belief system, but I deleted it.  That's not an accurate statement.  There are some characters that do have strong beliefs.  Their journey in the story might therefore involve figuring out how to fit in the larger world beyond themselves, given their belief systems.

Then there are characters who really aren't sure what they believe in.  These are actually my preference.  Their journey will most likely involve figuring out what to believe in and why.  This might not even be a conscious journey, but one they make without knowing it, until they find themselves changed at the end.

Do you think about the belief systems of your characters?  And how do you show that in your writing?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Yes, I did think about it. My main character's beliefs change during the course of the story - and grow much stronger.

I don't like taking medicine either, although sometimes allergies force me to that point.

Matt Conlon said...

Beliefs are tough. I think Dogma hit the nail on the head when they said humans have a tendency to take a good idea and ruin it by building a belief structure around it.

But, to keep things real, I think one has to consider their character's beliefs.

jjdebenedictis said...

I agree with you about the medicine thing, but not the vaccinations (flu shots.) Vaccinations mimic you getting an infection so your body can "practice" attacking it. It's essentially the same thing as getting the virus naturally and having to deal with being sick too.

That said, if you got really sick after a vaccination, I'm not surprised you avoid them now.

I guess every type of character growth has to involve a change of belief. The character has to start out believing one thing (even if it's "I can't do this!") and end up believing something else.

Angie said...

Glad you are feeling better. I am in total agreement about medication and flu shots. That's a good point about characters. I think everyone has something they believe strongly about.

Eric said...

Alex - Good point, making characters grow stronger over the duration.

Matt - Great movie, Dogma. You're right though.

JJ - Yep, I avoid 'em like the plague. Your point about a change in belief is a good one though. I'll have to keep that in mind.

Angie - Thanks, this has been a fun post to think through.