‘What one man can invent another can discover.’
Sherlock Holmes Quote
-The Adventure of the Dancing Man
I’ve fallen in love folks. That’s right, me, the girl whose really has only had one romantic relationship in my entire life. I’ve fallen in love so wholeheartedly, so magnificently, that I question why I’m not running outside crowding the world with my affections. It’s a love I don’t think I can live without anymore, one where it’s hard not to criticize the rest of the world for not having. It’s a love that has stolen part of my heart.
Interested in knowing who it is? Well, darn, that’s not what I meant. It’s more a question of WHAT.
CHARACTERS. That’s right, within the contexts of stories; I love a well-thought out, deep, wonderful, realistic person. One who I can read the story, and feel like that man or woman could pop out of the television screen/book and instantly become a part of my life without the world wondering why I’m walking with a cardboard cutout of a human. I love characters with a lot of layers, or at least with something different about them, something that makes them step out of the cookie-cutter character mold and become something more than just a tool to propel a story. I’m talking about someone who inspires something, like a man who speaks like a painting, with every layer of paint meaning something.
This isn’t to say that I don’t sometimes want to see stereotypical characters. I mean, my interests in terms of movies and books tend to either be of either 1. The animated sort or young adult, or 2. thrillers. In these types of movies, it’s almost a requirement that you have some sort of generic plotline or person for the piece to be in any way popular. I mean, look at The Hunger Games (which I highly recommend), there’s the typical teenager found in most teenage novels: the ones whose parents are A. not there, or B. unable to do anything. Though Katniss’ mother is not completely stereotypical, she does follow the pattern of most popular literature: the fact that the parents are always useless in most POPULAR teenage novels. (I say most, not all.)
There are places for stereotypical characters in today’s culture. I’ll admit that, at least. But since when has a stereotypical character ever really just blown you out of your mind? For me, not really. If one has for you, then I make no judgments against you, we all have our own opinions. But, in my own opinion, it’s the characters who go above and beyond stereotypes that are the ones who really impactful.
So, my latest love for this week: Sherlock Holmes. Honestly, I’ve been going through the original books, I watched all the Sherlock episodes, and I’ve watched both of the Sherlock Holmes movies. I must say, even if they are all stories of the same people that appeared in this lovely series by Conan Doyle (go read the books, you can literally get almost all of them for $0.99 on any Nook, not sure about the Kindle), each of them gives us a different, but very real, Sherlock Holmes. In the books, Sherlock is a tad kinder than the one in the Sherlock series, and I believe the movies portray Watson as a lot more useful than he appears in Sherlock and the books (so far, anyway). Though we’ve got three different representations of the same character, I believe they all fundamentally work well because of one reason: The depth of the character Sherlock Holmes.
Sherlock Holmes is a self-proclaimed ‘consulting detective’, with a knack of knowing everything that could be found at a crime scene. He knows every kind of dirt in London and where you can find it in London. He chooses not to know that the Earth revolves around the sun (because there’s really no reason to have to know that when solving crimes). Because of his intelligence, and his deductions that leave people in the dust, it’s harder for him to make friends, and when you are his friend (like our man, John Watson), you get swept into a whirlwind which there’s no guarantee you won’t get hurt.
And of course, there’s SO much more to Sherlock Holmes than even that. But it’s breathtaking, and so refreshing to see something MORE. Every Sherlock Holmes I’ve seen, I’ve gotten the feeling that he’s really well fleshed-out character.
Other characters that prove their own: Vanellope von Schweetz from Wreck it Ralph, with her fresh nerdiness in a heroine, and King Candy for being a villain who you don’t entirely believe is evil until the end. I know, this is an entirely different spin off of Sherlock, but for those of you who have seen the movie, those characters, even though they may seem like they’ll go the stereotypical route, they prove interesting.
There’s not really a lesson this week, but I will tell you this. If you’re a writer, spend time with your characters. I’m having some difficulties with my own characters because it really takes me a while to figure out a person, but if time’s what you need, use it. Interview the character. Go on walks and talk to him. Doesn’t matter if people see you and think you’re crazy for talking to yourself. In the end, I’d rather be thought of as crazy, and get an awesome character as a result from it. I mean, if you’re crazy, you’re in good company. I mean, just look at Salvador Dali, he used his dreams for inspiration. Or, look at Van Gogh, the guy chopped off his own ear! (I would not recommend this though, no matter you reason. I’m pretty sure that hurts.)
So fall in love with your character! As many writing books say, characters=plot. So I’m pretty sure they’re a BIG DEAL.
Well, see you next week!