Everyone, whether they’re conscious of it or not, has a way of looking at the world that informs who they are and how they deal with life.
As you create fully developed characters, figuring out how they view the world will add depth to your story and even influence your characters’ actions. You can also use this knowledge about your characters to show how they evolve.
In What Jamie Saw by Carolyn Coman, 9-year-old Jamie witnesses domestic violence and hides out with his mom. When a teacher visits him and his mom, and Jamie is told he must go back to school, this is how he reacts:
“How he hated her then. Why would his mother send him away from the trailer, back to the exploded, contaminated world? Why couldn’t they just stay together the way they had been and Earl could bring them food sometimes?”
As the story concludes, Jamie has grown stronger and his mother reassures him that he and his sister Nin are going to be okay. “It didn’t take long to quiet her, and when she had, Patty caught Jamie’s eye and they both laughed again, the way people do who have been through something together.”
In the end, it feels as if Jamie has become more resilient and hopeful and will change his view of the world. Read more