Thursday, 22 August 2013

Skilled Characters

Should characters be perfect? Skilled in everything, flawless, all-knowing, and all-powerful?

Of course not. Or at least–not most of the time. 'Perfect' (or seemingly perfect) can have their places sometimes.

But should characters be the opposite? Having no virtues, no skills, no learning, and no motivation?

I would give the same answer as to the above question. No–or at least rarely.

I'm not arguing for either extreme here. I'm not saying your characters shouldn't be flawed at all.

But I admire characters that have motivation. That have a particular skill. That have taken the time to learn to do something–and do it well.

I've recently read two books of the Staff and Sword series–A Cast of Stones and A Hero's Lot. The main character, Errol Stone, isn't perfect. Far from it. But he has a skill–or possibly more than one. You'll have to read the book to find out. ;)

Characters don't have to have a skill at the start of a book. Errol doesn't–or at least not one that he knows about. But he grows. He dedicates the time to becoming the best in what he does.

Do we want people to spend the time developing skills in real life? Then 'allow' your characters to. What you want to see happening in the world around you, model in the lives and worlds of your characters.

As a novelist, I'm not in the business of showing the world as it is. I'm in the business of changing the world into what it could be. -- Jake of the Sadaar (source)

Give your characters a skill. Your readers will thank you for it.

-Jag Swiftstorm


  1. Thank you SO MUCH for putting the TSR banner up! I so appreciate it. Bravo.


    1. Thank you for writing it and letting me proofread.

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. I don't understand you, Jag! You go for months without posting then suddenly there's two posts in one day! It's a bit confusing.

    1. Aye, I'm a very erratic poster.

      (And not quite months... I have managed to post at least once every month so far :P)

    2. Well, that makes it a lot better I suppose. :-)