Complexity And Characters

Complexity And Characters

Complexity And Characters

The following tweet found its way into my timeline, along with a bundle of thoughts.

Complexity and characters

The tweet reads: 

What makes a book successful? Rosemary Stimola says the words and the narrative voice that carries them. She also says complex characters and plot that is a “page turner”. 


The part that stuck in my head was the complex characters. I agree with this with regards to writing. I can think back over books I enjoy and books I re-read and know that this is definitely a key enjoyment factor for me.


But what was really going through my head was how unappreciative people are in real life of complexity. I feel like my whole life I’ve been told I’m too much of this or not enough of that. The amount of times previous employers have been confused (too fucking confused) that I can’t be in my 20s or 30s and have non child related caring responsibilities. I’m always too far outside the norm. Too complex. 


Why can we cope with these complexities in fiction and yet we basically want everyone in “real life” to be some turdishly plain and able to be “perfect” Mary-Sue?


Do people not realise that real life means that literally not one of us is a Mary-Sue?


Psst, I’m looking at putting together some short courses this year on getting a book written. Make sure you sign up to my newsletter if you want to hear about them. I’m thinking one specifically for small biz owners, and one along the lines of “get your first draft done”. Probably $50.


Complexity And Characters

6 Replies to “Complexity And Characters”

  1. Well, it would certainly be boring if we were had a personality where one size fits all!

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      It really would be.

  2. My life is full of people with complexities LOL … but I wouldn’t have it any other way. If everyone was the same the world be one heck of a boring place!

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I think there are too many boring people as-is some days… So I really want my fiction to be more interesting or “better” than real life somehow.

  3. Assumptions….are not only wrong they are very very judgemental.

    I reckon so many of us, me included, could learn lots more about life via people who are prepared to share “life that is not ordinary”

    Thank you for linking up your blog post to Life This Week #232. Lots of interesting comments from bloggers this time about “good”. Next week, the optional prompt is Heroic….that too might generate more conversation…and THAT is what I love about hosting a link up on my blog. See you there. Denyse.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I feel like this is a bit of a marketing thing, as you say, the “life that is not ordinary” tends to be shovelled into some “other” or niche rather than lessons that are applicable for anyone.

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