Happy April 2nd everyone! So as some of you may know, now that it is finally April, I’m doing the April A to Z Blogger’s challenges. For those who don’t know what it is, here is a little blurb about it:
Starting the beginning of April, bloggers will write with a topic themed on something with the letter A, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until you finish on April thirtieth with the theme based on the letter Z. It doesn’t even have to be a word–it can be a proper noun, the letter used as a symbol, or the letter itself. The theme of the day is the letter scheduled for that day.
The theme could be a part of a story, a short piece of work or a blog entry. Yesterday I did an “April Fool’s Day” teaser with a short piece of work, but today my theme is the term “brave” and that got me thinking. When it comes to character creation, what constitutes a “brave” character? Does “bravery” only apply to certain types of characters, such as the hero? Or can it be applied to characters that aren’t so conventionally “brave”?
Traditionally, when I have this discussion with others who share my interest in writing, the topic of “bravery” is a more difficult one to put into words, simply for the fact that it can be applied in so many different ways.
Currently, I’m in my final semester of College and with my major in English, I am surrounded by people on a daily basis that write about a wide variety of topics. With the feminist writes, they speak of the bravery of women and the struggles that they see in society both present and past. For the non-fiction writers, they speak of the bravery of certain individuals, again both present and past who have gone through different types of hardships or who have overcome adversities of some kind. Then there are the fiction writers, such as myself, who have recently found a bit of struggle in how we see the term “bravery” when it comes to our writing.
Just yesterday, while contemplating this idea, I discussed it with a few of my classmates, all of whom are getting ready to graduate and move onto our next phase of life. This small group of friends are all aspiring fiction authors, and let me tell you, when we get into a discussion, it gets pretty heated. The idea of “bravery” was very interesting.
For some, it seems that the term “bravery” applies very specifically to the protagonist of the story, or even more specifically the archetype of the “hero”. The hero is the one that typically shows the signs of bravery because they are the ones that have to go through some type of trial or suffer in some way that requires them to be “brave” in order to achieve the title of the hero. Like for example, my group of friends used the example of the Lion King, yes I said the Lion King, after all, we are all just a bunch of children at heart! Our main character, Simba, has to go through the trials of losing his father, abandoning his pride, and dealing with the betrayal of his uncle Scar before he can be considered “brave” and earn his title as the hero and win his spot back as king of the pride.
If we stick with this example, there is no way that Simba’s Uncle Scar can be considered “brave” even though he has to struggle to make his evil plans fall into place. But does that mean that the antagonist really never can be considered “brave”? One of my classmates did a great job of turning this example around by using the second Lion King movie. In the second movie we have a few of the same characters, but we also have a few new ones that become the focus of the movie. The main characters are Kiara and Kovu. Here we have both a protagonist and an antagonist of sorts. Kiara is Simba’s little girl, and Kovu is the son of one of the outcast pride members, and is also supposed to be the one to bring Simba to his demise.
For those of you who know the story, both of these characters end up being characterized as “brave” because of their actions to overcome their individual sets of adversities, and ultimately bringing the two separate prides together. Granted, our “bad guy”, meaning Kovu, eventually did switch sides and become one of the “good guys,” but still, he was considered one of the antagonists of the story and still was able to be classified as “brave.”
This discussion continued on for a while, and nobody could come to a unanimous agreement as to who can and cannot be considered “brave” when it comes to our characters. So that opens up the discussion to my readers and blog followers. What makes a character a “brave” one in your eyes? Are there any set rules that you believe writers need to follow when it comes to this term? Do you have a set archetype that can be described as “brave”?
- The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge (ardollak.wordpress.com)
- CAN YOU BLOG YOUR ABCs? (tonettedelaluna.wordpress.com)
- ‘A’ Is for April, Among Other Things (livinginaction.wordpress.com)