A Few Quick Thoughts on Situations

The blogger on Padre Island, January, 2011.

The blogger on Padre Island, January, 2011.

Perhaps this is patently obvious to everyone except me, but it seems to me that one of the keys of showing a character’s inner workings is by placing him/her in difficult situation and showing how they either solve the problem or extricate themselves from it.  After all, this is one of the critical ways we learn about a person’s true nature in real life.   The classic example of this of probably all English literature is Hamlet.  A more recent example is that of Captain Kirk n the Kobayashi Maru scenario at Starfleet Academy (the simulation was programmed as a no-win scenario to test a cadet’s character, but the night before his test Kirk secretly re-programmed the simulation so that he could win).  When I have tried writing this type, I have found it much more difficult than simply getting the character out of a sticky situation by a stroke or luck or something deus ex machina.  It becomes a test of my own genius and my own character,  because I find I can often much more easily land a character in an impossible situation than I can extricate him from it.

Thoughts? Comments?


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