Want to know what our blog is all about? Click this link.
On Thursday last week, we learned that dynamic characters are ones that undergo a discernible and/or significant change throughout the narrative. A static character, on the other hand, does not change throughout the story. These are often minor characters, people who don’t matter much to the story. For example, in Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson, Jim Hawkins’ mother is a static character. Why? Because from the start of the novel to the end:
- She doesn’t go anywhere.
- Her personality doesn’t change.
- Her physical body isn’t altered by scarring or a pregnancy or anything else that might change her physical appearance.
- She doesn’t learn anything.
- She doesn’t become a more resilient person.
In other words, nothing about Jim’s mom changes. That’s why she’s a static character. But what if we threw a dryer sheet in with her? How could we make her change from being a static character (one that never changes) to a dynamic character (one that does change)?
For this journal entry, choose a static character from your novel. Invent a different plot element that would change this character significantly, and hypothesize about how that would transform the static character into a dynamic character. Here’s an example:
- I’m reading Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.
- The static character I’ve chosen from my novel is Jim’s mom, because she never goes anywhere or does anything that changes her.
- I’m going to invent a plot in which she joins the treasure hunters and gets shot by pirates.
- That would change her, because she would have a physical injury. She might have to walk with a crutch after that, just like Long John Silver. In fact, she might even have more respect for Silver, because she would then understand how hard it is to have a physical handicap.
- She would then be a dynamic character, because she would have become more knowledgable about pirates, she would have a physical handicap, and she would have to learn how to cope with her disability.
To summarize, this is what you do:
- Tell your title and author.
- Name the static character you’ve chosen and explain why/how they are static.
- Invent a plot development that would change the static character to dynamic. (This is not something that really happened in the book, but something you make up.)
- Explain how that plot development would change your character.
- Pinpoint what would be dynamic about that character, due to the change you made to the plot.