My hat’s off today to author David Farland. A recent post of his reminded me that all stories are ultimately about the development of the main character over the course of the book. Not only must the main character be likeable, but that character must also have a flaw or a shortcoming which they struggle to correct in themselves. Farland describes it as answering the greatest question of who they are. .
In my book, Murderous Relations, I introduce Jessica Chase. She’s a mild-mannered little thing and fairly likeable from the beginning. But she lacks a spine. She doesn’t know how to seize life for herself. She has drifted along in a relationship she thought to be just fine which suddenly ends to her surprise. Then her aunt’s murdered, and Jessica finds herself a suspect, and she knows not what to do.
Now, make no mistake about it, Murderous Relations is a mystery. The solution to the murder stands on its own from the start. But it’s also the tale of Jessica finding her feet and discovering how to stand up for herself as well. It was welcome today, as I’m still wrestling with Murder at Troublesome Creek, to be reminded of the duality involved in all good stories, of the need to complete the tale involved in your plot, right along portraying the growth of your main character.
You may read Farland’s post here: http://www.davidfarland.net/writing_tips/?a=81