Thursday, August 19, 2021

Are Your Characters Dealing With Trauma?

In this article in Electric Lit, “Shadow and Bone” Helped Me Combat My Imposter Syndrome, Meera Vijayann poses the question/opportunity:

“The tendency of writers to focus on the future of their characters without examining their present is a missed opportunity; because it is well-documented that children do not merely outgrow their trauma. Their personalities are shaped by it, and usually, their futures are ruined by the effect it has on their minds.”

Meera considers how 

“Time and time again, throughout the Grishaverse trilogy, Alina peels away her trauma layer by layer, until all that’s left is the person she was truly meant to be.”

and writes, 

“I’m hopeful that Bardugo’s audacity to redefine feminine strength will shape young adult fiction. In refusing to write around trauma, instead writing directly through it, she allows Alina Starkov to become consumed and haunted by it and eventually, develop the strength to fight back and overcome it. It is healing through confrontation. It is a different kind of pain, and a necessary one that we need more of our literary heroines to go through.”

The characters we create model so much for young readers... and Meera's analysis is fascinating to consider. Read the full article here.

Illustrate, Translate, and Write On,

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