This week we paused to honor the men and women who have stepped up and accepted their position in military service for our country. We all know someone (spouse, parent, child, neighbor) who has worn the uniforms of their Corps. I am blessed to live with such a person, my husband, Col. Hayward Doyle, Jr. Army Retired. His perspective on the multiple benefits of a robust and ready Military goes deep. From the first days of training young adults are provided with invaluable structure in their lives. This prepares them to not only defend our country and freedoms, but to continue thinking logically and strategically while developing themselves into exceptional citizens. Col. Doyle is also sadly aware of the past and present shortcomings within the “systems.” Thus it is that I am using the example of “characters” within any military-life-environment to introduce the concept of developing living characters in our writings.
Drill Instructors. They are given the task of “indoctrinating” recruits into the “customs and practices” of military life. They, themselves, are examples (or should be examples) of excellence in all aspects of the practices and values honored by that Corps. However, they are also human beings—with faults
The concept of this character-type is a good starting point for your main (protagonist) character. The ethics, integrity and faith beliefs of this character must be as clearly defined as the rules and regulations demonstrated by a DI.
In spite of the unified structure of military units, the fact remains that each person is an individual who acts and reacts differently. Although the pattern of Boot Camp and other types of training (character development) remains exactly the same for everyone, the DI (Drill Instructor) assesses each individual and “pushes” them in different ways in order to bring out their best efforts.
So it is with the writer. You are developing a “unit” of characters who must work together within your storyline in order to bring about the exciting conclusion you’ve planned. Who are they? What were their lives like before stepping onto the pages of your story? Who is the rebel among them?
Conflict. This element is always present in life—and military life—no matter how much education and training is involved to avoid it. So the Military Police (MPs) became a unit to themselves. Their main mission is to provide security support, compliance with “law and order,” and restraint (or detention) as needed.
No matter the level of conflict within your plot (minor or major), you will need one or more characters to solve or resolve the problems. Their backgrounds should include a propensity toward discovery and investigation and a real need to bring about peace.
The next two or three blog entries will offer more ideas about character development. The ideas I’ve offered you today are (I hope) a different perspective that will jog your own skills and abilities as you create marvelous characters who will lead you into successful writing and publishing!
|ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene Doyle is a Ghostwriter with Outskirts Press, bringing more than 35 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their writing projects. She has worked with both experienced and fledgling writers helping complete projects in multiple genres. When a writer brings the passion they have for their work and combines it with Royalene’s passion to see the finished project in print, books are published and the writer’s legacy is passed forward.|