I finally got around to seeing Rise of the Guardians last month. It had everything to do with my child now being old enough to appreciate longer movies and nothing to do with my appreciating Chris Pine’s sexy voice through 90% of the movie. Nope, nothing at all. And that is not why I bought the DVD.
Back in December, EMichels did a post on the center of evil and how the villains in your books need a center instead of just being bad for the sake of badness.
One of the themes in Rise of the Guardians is every person has a “center.” Deep down, there’s the core of what we bring to the world. Is it fun, wonderment, hope?
North explains his many layers. He’s jolly, mysterious, fearless, and caring – but the core of what makes him Santa is wonderment. He has eyes of wonder. Seeing the world with a childlike view allows him to create the toys, the lights, the spectacle and wonder that is Christmas.
As I watched Jack Frost embark on a quest that helps him discover his center (and was subsequently treated to a very pleasing number of CPine chuckles), it occurred to me how much the metaphor North uses to explain our center relates to our voice as writers. I began to wonder, what is the center of my voice?
Yes, I write with a lot of romance and love and, let’s be honest, lust. It’s why I’m in the romance genre. <insert duh here> I think pretty much every story can be improved with a bit of love and canoodling – even if it’s waaaay off on the side.
I write with humor. It’s prevalent in almost all that I do. I can’t write, or even live, without it.
I write a lot about loyalty and adventure. Bonds built through through sticky situations and shenanigans.
I use a lot of banter in my books. I may have one or two strong, silent types, but most of my characters lean toward loquacious. It’s just how I roll.
But I realized, the center of my voice…is hope. My characters have been and will go through a lot. Many of them, at the start, have given up any hope of real happiness. They’re struggling in some way, trying to make things work, or plain ole faking it. They either don’t believe in love and happiness or they don’t believe themselves deserving. By the end, though, they have hope. Hope for a better life. Hope for the love they’ve finally found. Hope for life because they’ve learned it’s about more than just getting by.
I imagine my center is similar to a lot of romance authors. We are writing Happily Ever After after all. 😉
So what’s your center? And what are the many layers wrapped around it?