Pixar’s Rule #1: Character Struggle
#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.
As an avid reader, I feel the key to any good story is love for the characters, feeling their struggle and wish for their success. You want to be them, date them, or be their best friend. It keeps you engaged.
Most of my favorite books have protagonist that are strong women with the courage to push through the struggles of life. Those struggles shape the character into someone you can love. Beatrice ‘Tris’ Prior of the Divergent series by Veronica Roth is appealing because of the strength she doesn’t even realize she possesses. She knows before her test that she is different and that she struggles with her ways of her faction. The thought of leaving her family causes her distress, but the thought of not being who she is meant to be can’t be denied. She has to follow her true self. She is small and has to work harder than the others in her new. Every obstacle thrown her way is overcome making someone you respect.
Really, it is the basics for any story. Something has to happen to keep us interested. You add in a little bit of a personal connection to a character and the makings of a beautiful story emerge.
Be it a struggle you are horrified about like the killing of children for sport in The Hunger Games or life as a slightly odd kid from Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Life no matter how ‘normal’ or how extreme has a set of it’s on struggles, it’s how the character deals with the struggle and come through on the other side that makes the story worth reading—again and again.
So, I agree that you need to admire the characters and their struggle. Characters are how I personally become invested in a novel or series. I love to see where they start and were they end up. It’s all about taking that ride and making us want to be in the passenger seat.
Also, all of you should check out the posts from my blogging friends who are doing this challenge with me! The first posts go up today. Links to Kate Brauning, Talynn Lynn, Mary Pat, and Alex Yuschik’s blogs are located on the side bar.
We’d love to see comments on our post and share anything you enjoy. Thank you for reading!