Yay for character development! This is one of the key things that you need to put your characters through; making them more than just words on paper.
There’s probably a million blog posts talking about ways to make your characters seem “more realistic” and “more relatable” so instead of talking about that sort of crap, I’m gonna talk to you about things that we writers love to throw in our characters’ stories that we usually overlook.
Today’s topic? Destiny.
From King Arthur, to Harry Potter to Luke Skywalker, all of our favourite characters have some sort of destiny that they are expected to live up to.
Why do we keep doing this? Why is this so standard? Why do we love a hero (or villain) with a pre-ordained future?
I don’t have the answers to any of those questions, to be honest, I can only speculate about why it’s so common for our characters to have a destiny bigger than themselves.
But that’s not what I’m here to do.
Let’s talk about destiny. A pre-ordained future given to (us) our characters by a bigger power (us writers) like the gods. This is such an important event to happen in all forms of storytelling. We see it in TV, movies, video games, books… everywhere, throughout history.
So, how do you avoid cliche with something that big?
As far as I’m concerned, you don’t. You embrace the cliche. So what if this was a task given to your hero by the gods? That’s not the part of the cliche that you need to be worried about. Embrace that. Embrace the fact that this is something that has happened in history before. Work that point into your story.
Then make the task set out by the gods original. Make the part where the hero overcomes his challenge something that has never been done before! That’s where your task lies, dear writer.
Break the mould, make it yours. Make it new and spectacular and embrace that cliche!
Now go forth and tell me in the comments how you keep your characters’ destinies from getting stale!